Tom Breslin officially took his new post Monday, July 7, and after a week on the job the new Dillon town manager has no intention of dwelling on the events of the recent past.
Breslin, originally from New York City, was hired last month as former town manager Joe Wray’s successor. Breslin’s hiring came a little more than a month after Mark Heminghous was sworn in as Dillon’s new police chief.
“I’m not interested in looking back at all that stuff,” Breslin said of the controversy surrounding the departures of Wray and former interim police chief Brian Brady. “The chief (Heminghous) and I want to move the town forward. Whatever happened in the past is in the past.”
Breslin, who has spent the last 15 years in management and senior management positions, comes to Dillon from Clear Creek County, where he served as county administrator and oversaw a budget of more than $30 million. He’s making a $120,000 annual salary in Dillon.
Breslin first came to Colorado from New York when he was a sergeant in the U.S. Army and was stationed at Fort Carson near Colorado Springs. After retiring from the military as a battalion operations officer, Breslin worked for 20 years as a New York City firefighter.
But Colorado made a lasting impression and in 1997 Breslin and his family moved to Breckenridge full time. Since then, Breslin has served as the director of public works for Vail Resorts, in addition to working in Clear Creek County.
The attraction to Dillon, Breslin said, is a combination of location and being involved in town management at a grassroots level.
“Dillon is just a cool place to be,” Breslin said. “When I was working as Clear Creek’s county administrator, I managed a 400-square-mile area. You don’t really get an opportunity to work with people. You spend a lot of time dealing with the state.
“I’m already pretty well entrenched in the community. I know a lot of people here and being able to interact with residents and business owners on a daily basis is just a much better fit for me.”
Looking ahead, Breslin said boosting the local economy is his No. 1 priority. However, Breslin said he wants to change the culture in Dillon by being more transparent and by bringing in local residents and business owners into the decision-making process.
“I’m a pretty transparent person — what you see is what you get,” Breslin said. “I think I can be a good face for the town. You’re not going to please everyone all of the time, but I pride myself at building relationships.”
Like many other towns in Summit County, Breslin said the theme of his first week on the job has been focused on expanding off the successes of the Fourth of July holiday to attract more people to Dillon, particularly during the shoulder seasons.
“The town council was very focused on economic development during the interview process, so that’s definitely a priority,” Breslin said. “I think there’s a lot to learn from the Fourth of July weekend. Everywhere you went, all of the towns were just packed.
“We don’t have anything specific in the works yet, but we’ve been having a lot of good conversations and we’re going to make sure we do this right.”