Steamboat Springs The new finance director for the city of Steamboat Springs is sure to have insights into the fiscal picture of Colorado ski towns; Don Taylor is currently employed as finance director for the town of Breckenridge and has served in that capacity since 1984.
Steamboat Springs City Manager Paul Hughes announced Wednesday that Taylor has been appointed director of financial services from among three finalists identified in a nationwide search.
"Don brings us municipal experience, Colorado experience and ski resort community experience," Hughes said in a prepared statement. "We expect that his background will help him fit right into Steamboat Springs."
Karen Feeney, the previous director of financial services, resigned in late March, but remained with the city through the spring.
Taylor served as the assistant town manager in Breckenridge for the last two years. Prior to moving there, he was the finance director for the town of Leesburg, Va., for six years.
Scott Gordon, president of Alpine Bank in Steamboat, was on the seven-member interview committee that recommended Taylor's hiring. He said he thinks Taylor's personality is a good fit for Steamboat, and agrees with Hughes that Taylor will make an easy transition to his new position.
"We had a lot of qualified candidates from a resume standpoint and Don was right up there with them," Gordon said. "He was at the top of the list for all of us. Having been at Breckenridge for 16 years was a big plus for us."
Gordon said Taylor is already thoroughly versed in ski town issues like employee housing and special improvement districts. He described Taylor as being fiscally conservative when it comes to municipal spending.
"He won't be making policy decisions, but he'll be influencing them, and he believes in taking care of what you've got before taking on new projects," Gordon said. He added that the high cost of housing in ski towns as well as the height of the snowbanks won't come as a shock to Taylor.
Taylor was not in the office at Breckenridge Town Hall and his daughter said he would not be available to take calls at press time.
Terry Talty, a reporter for the Summit Daily News in Frisco, said Taylor has worked on the financing of a number of large public works projects during his lengthy tenure in Breckenridge. The town bonded for a new recreation center in 1990, and is about to complete its second ice skating rink. The newest rink is the first indoor rink in Breckenridge, Talty said. Breckenridge, which has a sales tax base of about $27 million, also bonded for a golf course and the latest nine holes are currently under construction.
Breckenridge does have a real estate transfer tax, does not have an airport, and recently completed a survey in preparation for revising its water rates, Talty said.
Taylor is expected to begin his new job in Steamboat on July 31.
Other members of the interview committee that selected him were Hughes, Assistant Finance Director Bob Litzau, Tom Hopp of Wells Fargo Bank, Geneva Taylor of Community First Bank, Nick Schoewe of O'Connor Partners and Dale Mellor of the Steamboat Springs RE-2 School District.
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