Mark Marchus, chief building official for the Routt County Regional Building Department, said he will continue in his position despite his announcement a week ago that he would retire.
Marchus said that since his announcement, he has been flooded with phone calls and visits from contractors and others encouraging him to rethink his decision to retire. After a weekend of "tough decisions," Marchus said he has decided to stay.
"I will continue to do the excellent job that I think I've done in the past," Marchus said. "I base my term 'excellent job' on the support I've received from the construction community in asking me not to leave."
Marchus was joined by a dozen members of that community on Monday afternoon when he announced that he would not retire by April 30, as he previously announced.
Those present said they supported Marchus.
"(Marchus) has been a fabric of our community, and to let this kind of fabric go to the wayside is just unacceptable," said Michael Vanvliet of Storm Mountain Services.
Routt County Manager Tom Sullivan would not comment on Marchus' decision, saying he had not been made aware that Marchus had changed his mind. Steamboat Springs City Manager Paul Hughes said he also was unaware of Marchus' change of plans.
Marchus oversees the city and county's combined regional building department.
Marchus said his decision to retire was sparked by problems within the department, but he would not elaborate on those problems.
"I was horribly frustrated by the situation there," Marchus said. "I was at a point where I was having a difficult time dealing with it."
Marchus said his goal since taking the job six years ago has been to make the building department more user-friendly and oriented to its customers, he said.
With the support of the construction community, he said he feels the department can continue to achieve those goals.
Much of the construction community seems to agree.
"We'll tell him when he can leave," said Tom Fox with Fox Construction.
Compared to the past 25 years, Fox said, "The Building Department runs as smoothly now as it ever has."
The department is consistent, he said, so builders know what to expect and how to progress through the system.
Others present said that Marchus was helpful and willing to work with people, qualities that can be rare for people in his position, and that the building department could not afford to lose him.
John Shively of Shively Construction said Marchus makes the building process easier, especially when problems that do not fit into certain statutes come up.
"Mark will come up with a practical solution that's safe and fair to everybody," Shively said. Those decisions, he said, cannot be made by anyone but the chief building official.
Greg Couchoud of Central Electric said Marchus has helped foster a sense of community in building.
"With what Mark has done, we're all part of one effort to build good buildings and do a good job, and I'd hate to see that go away," Couchoud said.
Marchus said he was thankful for the support.
"I knew I had some support in the community, but I never guessed I would have the outcry of support that has been given to me," he said.
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