Pitkin County’s director of communications steps down | AspenTimes.com

Pitkin County’s director of communications steps down

ASPEN – The head of the Aspen-Pitkin County Communications Center resigned from his post Wednesday, Sheriff Joe DiSalvo said.

Mark Gamrat’s resignation became effective immediately, DiSalvo said. Gamrat’s phone number is not listed, and he could not be reached for comment. Additionally, DiSalvo said Gamrat did not want to be interviewed.

“I think he just lost his passion for the job,” DiSalvo said. “He works not only for me – he works for the communications board. He’s leaving because he works for an eight-member board and eight different masters.

“He just decided to move on.”

The communications board comprises the leaders of law enforcement and fire department agencies in Pitkin County. That includes the Aspen, Basalt and Snowmass Village police departments, the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office and the fire departments that serve Aspen, Basalt, Carbondale and Snowmass.

DiSalvo, who served as Gamrat’s direct supervisor, declined to discuss whether the board asked Gamrat to resign or risk being terminated.

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“I can’t go too deep because it’s a personnel issue,” the sheriff said.

Gamrat, who is in his late 40s, worked eight years as Communications Center’s director. He had been earning an annual salary of approximately $85,000, DiSalvo said. He will receive $20,169 in severance pay, according to Dannette Logan, director of human resources for Pitkin County.

Basalt Fire Chief Scott Thompson, contacted Thursday, said he had no comment specific to Gamrat’s exit.

“Personally, no,” Thompson said when asked if he had encountered any problems with Gamrat. “Unfortunately the other part, as director of the communications center, I can’t really comment.”

Basalt Police Chief Roderick O’Connor was tight-lipped, as well.

“We left it up to Joe (DiSalvo) to be the point person on this,” he said. “There’s not much I can say about this.”

DiSalvo noted that having to report to eight agencies – as was the case with Gamrat – is not an easy task. His job responsibilities included overseeing the county’s 911 system, the emergency notification system, the dispatch center and Pitkin Alert, among other duties. Pitkin Alert, a free service for residents that gives them such electronic updates as road reports, weather warnings, Amber Alerts, criminal activities and other information, was created while Gamrat was in charge.

“He was responsible for a lot of innovation here,” DiSalvo said.

DiSalvo’s office has been subject to a handful of employee exits over the past year – in the form of both resignations and firings related to either performance issues or workers being dissatisfied on the job.

The sheriff said Gamrat’s resignation is “completely unrelated” to them. Bruce Romero, who had been assistant communications director for the county, currently is serving as interim director, DiSalvo said.

rcarroll@aspentimes.com