Dillon hires town manager
DILLON – Dillon town officials announced Friday they have hired a new town manager. Jack Benson, Summit County public works director, will begin working for Dillon at the end of August.
“It was a tough decision,” said Dillon Mayor Barbara Davis. “But the council felt that his vast administrative experience with local (Summit County) government, his depth of knowledge in dealing with Colorado issues, and his participatory style of management, stood out.”
Benson was one of 58 applicants who submitted resumes for Dillon’s town manager position. Julie Boyd, town manager for the past seven years, resigned in May to accept a position on the Front Range.
Town officials, staff and an assessment board composed of town managers from Vail, Gunnison and Silverthorne, interviewed six candidates Friday, July 19. Davis said she was not able to participate in those interviews due to a family emergency.
Council members invited their top three choices – Benson, Thomas Hale of Granby and Don Van Wormer of Kremmling – back for another round of interviews Monday, when Davis could participate. Davis said Benson was the clear frontrunner for both council and staff, and town officials extended an offer to him that evening.
“From my perspective, it was really important that staff liked this person as well,” Davis said.
Benson is scheduled to start Aug. 26 for an annual salary of $80,000.
“I’m just as pleased as can be,” Benson said. “There were a lot of good candidates, and just to be among that group was a compliment.”
Benson said his last day with Summit County will be Aug. 9, and though he is excited for the new position, he is sad to say goodbye to his staff at the county.
“There’s some regret,” Benson said. “I really like my staff. I think (they) are the real stewards of the county and they’re the ones that make it hum. They sometimes take criticism and, for the most part, it’s not deserved.”
During his two-and-a-half years as the county’s public works director, Benson and his staff have taken ownership of the landfill and worked to improve the facilities there. Additionally, they were part of the planning and construction of the county animal shelter, the expansion of the Snake River Wastewater Treatment Plant and currently are planning for a new public works facility.
Benson said none of those accomplishments would have been possible without his staff’s dedication and that he will miss working with them.
“I’m just fortunate enough that I’ll remain in the neighborhood and we’ll rub shoulders from time to time,” he said.
Remaining in Summit County was important to Benson, as he and his partner, Susan Gruber, have lived here for 18 years.
For 15 of those years, Benson commuted to Clear Creek County. He was county manager there for 10 years before moving to his position with Summit County.
Benson said he submitted his resume for the Frisco manager position, but was not invited for an interview.
When asked about his vision for Dillon, he said, “I think it’s real simple. I want to expedite what the city council sees as their vision for the community, provide the services to the citizenry at the lowest price, and then establish good fiscal footing now and into the future.”
Lu Snyder can be reached at 970-668-3998 x203 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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