Hayden growth leads to shuffle

Several town employees promoted or transitioned

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— Steady growth in the town of Hayden, plus the loss of a public works employee, has led to a number of transitions and promotions, Town Manager Russ Martin said.

Kathy Hockett has been named director of the Parks and Recreation Department. She previously was the Parks and Recreation supervisor. Martin said the title change gives Hockett more independence in decision-making. Dave Bantam, who previously worked for both Parks and Recreation and Public Works, is now the parks superintendent.

Sam Barnes has been promoted to public works superintendent. Former superintendent Glen Bedell moved to the Front Range with his family.

The largest changes were made in the Town Hall administrative staff. Lisa Dowling, formerly the town clerk and treasurer, is now the finance director and treasurer. Susan Irvine has been promoted from deputy clerk to town clerk. Bonnie Carrico is the new deputy clerk, promoted from administrative assistant. Martin said the town's budget does not allow it to fill the administrative assistant position at this time, so Carrico is filling both roles.

Dowling, who started working for the town in 1992 as a secretary, said she had been both the treasurer and the town clerk since the late 1990s, a combination that had become increasingly impractical.

"It became evident recently, because we were growing so rapidly, that I should be transitioning back solely to finance, which is my forte anyway," said Dowling, who has a business degree from Michigan State University.

Dowling said the town has grown unbelievably since she started working there 15 years ago and recalled a time at the old Town Hall when meetings with more than half a dozen people would spill out into the hallway.

"The workload has increased, of course, with the population," Dowling said. "When I first started, the town was in pretty dire financial straits."

Carrico, who has been with the town since October, said even she has noticed the growth.

"We've increasingly gotten more volume, and it's busier every day," Carrico said.

Carrico, who said she is "very excited" about her promotion, has taken over utility billing for the town, among other responsibilities. Dowling said her new responsibilities move her more to the background at Town Hall and people who typically would come to her for information should now go to Irvine.

Irvine was on vacation and unavailable for comment.

"All staff has been working hard to keep up with the demands of growth, and these changes help position the town to better serve growing citizens' needs," Martin said.

The promotion of Hayden police Officer Gordon Booco was announced last month, but was also the result of growing needs within the town, Martin said. Booco is the town's first sergeant. That promotion was largely designed to relieve Chief Ray Birch of his supervisory role, allowing him to focus more on administrative concerns.

Additional staff may be hired in the near future, Dowling said, as the town works toward becoming a home-ruled municipality - like Steamboat Springs - which will allow it more control over taxes and options for increasing revenue.

- To reach Brandon Gee, call 871-4210

or e-mail bgee@steamboatpilot.com

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