Longtime Aspen assistant city manager taking over as Frisco town manager | SummitDaily.com

Longtime Aspen assistant city manager taking over as Frisco town manager

Aspen assistant city manager Randy Ready will take over as Frisco town manager in January. Co-workers in Aspen described him as a "transportation guru."

The town of Frisco has selected veteran Aspen assistant city manager Randy Ready to succeed Bill Efting as town manager when he retires in January. Ready, whom Aspen city officials described as a "transportation guru," has served the city for 24 years, where he has acted as point person in tackling congestion problems and addressing workforce housing needs.

"I've known Randy for 20 years," said Efting. "He's a great guy and I think he'll be great for Frisco."

Ready, who will take over on Jan. 16, said that while he's loved his time in Aspen, he and his wife are ready to move a little closer to the Front Range now that their two sons have headed off to college.

"It's the right time in my family's life, and Frisco is the perfect place" he said. "Now that my wife and I are 'free agents' we wanted to be a little closer to our friends in the metro area but still be in a small mountain community."

Ready, who was born in Canon City, earned degrees in political science and Spanish from the University of Denver in 1982. He started his long career with the city of Aspen in 1992, when he came on as director of transportation and parking. Four years later, he moved up to assistant city manager, a post he's held ever since.

"It's a passion, something I'm very much committed to," he said. "It sounds trite, but I really enjoy making a difference and rolling up my sleeves and getting involved."

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Ready said he's particularly proud of his work in the realms of affordable housing and transportation, issues that both Aspen and Frisco have grappled with.

Land is scarce and expensive in Aspen, and in the early 1990s emergency response workers were having trouble finding places to live — an issue that Summit County now faces as well. The city's solution was to scour for opportunities to add units whenever it was renovating government buildings, and during Ready's tenure Aspen was able to add 55 affordable housing units to its stock.

Ready was also behind the Roaring Fork Valley's first traffic roundabout, which at the time was a very novel idea in the U.S.

"That was an interesting challenge," he said. "It was a very new idea and there were a lot of questions. But it took a very dangerous and congested intersection and made it much safer and efficient pretty much overnight."

He has also been heavily involved in tackling traffic congestion at the entrance to Aspen. In recent years, the city has added 4 miles of bus lanes and increased the efficiency of bus routes. That's helped make public transit travel times competitive with those of private cars, freeing up space on the roads and relieving traffic.

"I think Randy knows as much about transportation issues as anyone in any mountain resort community," said Aspen councilmember Adam Frisch. "His knowledge and close working with CDOT, understanding of state and federal transportation issues, buses, shared bike services — it's been invaluable."

Ready has already been thinking about how he might ply his trade in Frisco. Through his conversations with town officials and residents, Ready said he's identified four main development subjects in Frisco: community character and quality of life, housing and transportation.

"I'm excited to put my skills to work in a great community town," said Ready. "I have more ideas than I know I can implement, so the next month I'll be sorting out priorities."

Ready said that the first several months will be a "listening tour" of sorts, and he wants to get input from as many community members and groups as possible — not just stay holed up in city hall.

"I'm very excited to work with him. He's got some really great ideas for the town," said councilmember Deborah Shaner.

"Randy is as nice as the come in a really nice town," said Frisch. "He's the last guy to leave the office every day and the first guy to come in. It's a loss for Aspen and we're sad to see him go, but we're all very happy for him."