Waste maestro Stotts resigns
Miles Stotts, Pitkin County’s influential natural resource director who oversaw a host of programs including the modernization of the county’s landfill, has resigned.
His departure opens a void in the county’s management and has led officials to consider far-ranging changes in staffing, including the elimination of Stotts’ position.
Stotts, 50, is leaving to work at a private consulting firm in Lakewood.
He first came to Pitkin County in 1996 to oversee the county’s landfill. Under his leadership, the landfill improved greatly in the areas of recycling and environmental efficiency. It is now considered one of the most efficient landfills in the state.
“I’m proud that we brought the facility out of barely the 20th century into the 21st century,” Stotts said.
Due to his success at the landfill, the county created a new department around Stotts – the natural resource department. With Stotts as its director, the natural resource department had far-reaching jurisdiction in Pitkin County, including restaurant accreditation, West Nile protection, and the monitoring of septic systems, water quality, and wildlife.
Along with overseeing major county projects, Stotts was also deeply involved with the nitty-gritty of environmental stewardship.
The Wildlife Protection Ordinance, which requires the use of bear-proof garbage containers throughout Pitkin County, was passed under his watch. Pitkin County was the first county in the state to pass such an ordinance, although some cities and towns like Aspen and Snowmass already had such measures in place.
Brian Pettet, the director of public works for the county, said that the county is considering a shakeup of its upper management because of Stotts’ departure. The incorporation of the natural resource department into the public works department is one possible consequence, as is the elimination of Stotts position altogether.
“By 2007, the county is looking at a deficit. I think when any position like this opens up, we need to re-evaluate that position, particularly in a high-level management position like this,” Pettet said.
Stotts, whose last day of work is April 9, has accepted a position at Golder and Associates, an environmental consulting firm based in Lakewood, outside Denver. Stotts said he has always been interested in working in the private sector, but he stayed in Aspen for many years to raise his children, who graduated from Aspen’s schools. Now he will live in the Boulder area, where his youngest daughter is attending the University of Colorado.
“I’m primarily leaving because this is an outstanding opportunity. I’ve long been intrigued by the idea of consulting, but I wasn’t willing to travel because I wanted to be here for my family,” Stotts said.
Pettet said that Stotts’ departure leaves some big shoes to fill.
“It will be a serious challenge for the county to find someone who can match Miles’ wide range of knowledge and expertise,” Pettet said.
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