Steamboat Springs Routt County officials began efforts Wednesday to recruit a director for the county's Department of Human Services, a position held for 22 years by Bob White, who resigned in November.
County Manager Tom Sullivan said advertisements for the position began Wednesday and will continue through the end of the month, at which time applications will be reviewed. Nancy Smith, assistant county attorney for the Department of Human Services, and Mike Sidinger, caseworker supervisor, are now leading the department.
Sullivan would not discuss the details of White's resignation.
"He resigned," Sullivan said. "That's all I can say."
White said Wednesday that he left for several reasons, including health concerns, a wish to spend more time with family and a desire to do more work at his North Routt ranch.
"The job was so demanding," said White, recovering at home from a surgery performed Monday. "I figured it was time to try a few other things at this stage in the game. : It's been a great run, and it's just time to pursue some other opportunities that life has to offer."
White, whose last day was Nov. 19, said he left Routt County on good terms.
"Routt County's been very, very good to me," White said.
After reading a newspaper article from when he was first hired in 1985, White said Wednesday that the department accomplished a lot of the goals he laid out for it at that time in the years since.
"It was a huge honor to serve the people in this community who struggled," White said. "It's such a remarkable community."
The Department of Human Services is responsible for programs such as child support enforcement, child and adult welfare and the county's early childhood development program, First Impressions.
"That one makes us real proud," White said of First Impressions, which began as a pilot program in 1997.
The department also partners with organizations such as Grand Futures Prevention Coalition and Horizons Specialized Services.
In replacing White, Sullivan said he is looking for someone with good managerial and budget skills. He wants someone familiar with state and federal human services issues and programs and someone who will pay attention to actions taken by the state Legislature and the state Department of Human Services. Even with success on all those fronts, Sullivan said White's shoes would be hard to fill.
"It's hard to replace the expertise Bob had for 22 years," Sullivan said, "but I'm confident we can move forward."