County will look for new hires in New Year
Grand County government will be hiring for a number of key positions to help navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and East Troublesome Fire recovery in the coming months.
Public Health Director Brene Belew-LaDue announced her resignation earlier this month with her last day on Jan. 15. Just weeks before the transition, the health department is working with the acting county manager to develop plans for leadership.
With the county working through the COVID-19 pandemic, Public Health Medical Director Darcy Selenke told county commissioners on Tuesday that an internal candidate is being “worked out.”
“The most important thing is that we have a seamless transition,” Selenke said. “We cannot go anytime without a director for public health because it would jeopardize the ability to enact that five star program.”
The five star program created by state health officials could provide the county’s businesses an opportunity to increase their capacity.
Grand County applied for the program Friday, but Selenke said the state would not move forward because of Grand Country’s current case rate.
Grand has seen a decline in COVID-19 cases with the county’s two-week count below 100 new cases for the first time in over a month. However, the county’s rate is still equal to 600 cases per 100,000 residents and qualifies for the state’s Red level — though the county’s restrictions are considered “orange” on the state’s COVID dial.
Selenke said the state wants all of the county’s metrics in the orange zone before moving forward. If cases continue to decline to a rate below 350 per 100,000 residents, a local five star program could begin allowing approved businesses to increase capacity to the yellow level.
On Tuesday, commissioners also approved a contract with the Colorado Department of Local Affairs to hire a recovery manager. This two-year, full time position in the county will help lead local recovery efforts from the East Troublesome Fire.
DOLA will cover $154,065 for the salary and benefits associated with the two-year position, and the county will contribute another $51,355. The recovery manager will report to the emergency manager. According to the contract with DOLA, someone will be hired to the position within 45 days of the effective date of the contract.
Grand is also looking for a communications director after Alexis Kimbrough was promoted from the county’s communications coordinator to deputy director of Emergency Management earlier this year.
The county will be posting both jobs in the upcoming months after the job descriptions have been finalized.
The county commissioners appointed Assistant County Manager Ed Moyer as the acting county manager on Dec. 8 and he will likely stay on through early 2021.
The commissioners have not made any immediate moves to hire a new county manager.
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After their soccer game Saturday, the Grand County Wildcats suited up for a very different type of game.