Hayden Tim Redmond was surprised when no one stepped up to run for the Hayden Town Board of Trustees.
The seven-member board was short a trustee after Trace Musgrave moved for job reasons last fall. No one submitted a letter of interest for the spot, so Redmond asked Trustee Tom Rogalski about signing on. The board appointed him to the seat Feb. 5.
Redmond has never held office and is a little nervous about the massive town code delivered to his home, but Redmond said he's looking forward to serving the community.
"Everybody likes each other and respects each other, and they stay out of each other's business," he said. "But they're a phone call away if you need some help. That's the beauty of a small town."
Redmond grew up near Philadelphia, the youngest of six boys. He said his father, James, was one of the first African Americans to attend Pennsylvania State University, in the 1930s. He was the first African American to be captain of a sports team there, Tim Redmond said. His father led the track team.
"He went to the Olympic trials and lost to a man by the name of Jesse Owens," Redmond said. "So I kind of come from a family of overachievers."
Redmond spent two years at Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, the nation's oldest historically black college. He came West at about age 23, feeling stifled by the East Coast. He found his way to Steamboat Springs in 1981.
He met his wife, Julie, in Steamboat. They moved to Hayden 15 years ago and have an 11-year-old son, Jack. Redmond is a mechanical contractor and does plumbing and heating work across Northwest Colorado.
Redmond said he has never encountered racial prejudice in Hayden.
"I don't think I have ever lived anywhere where I was treated more fairly," he said.
The community observes people and makes its own judgments, Redmond said.
"As far as this town goes, I'm a big advocate," he said. "And I would like nothing but good things to happen to this town. : I love it. I just love it."
That love extends to the community and its children. Redmond coaches youth basketball and other sports, and he said he loves watching children's confidence grow. Redmond said he would like to see more winter recreation opportunities for Hayden youths.
"I don't think they have all the resources they should," he said. "When you look at Steamboat or Craig - even Oak Creek has an ice rink."
Trustee Richard "Festus" Hagins said Julie Redmond used to care for his son. Hagins said he has known the Redmonds for 14 or 15 years.
"I think he'll be a good fit on the board," Hagins said. "He's lived in town for quite a few years. He knows what's happening in town. : I think he'll bring a new perspective, a different perspective to the board."
Julie Redmond also cared for Rogalski's son, starting about 12 years ago. The trustee said Redmond is in touch with the community and its concerns. Rogalski was pleased when Redmond expressed interest.
"Actually, I was a little embarrassed I didn't think of him for the position," he said.
He said he thinks Redmond will fit in with the board, where discussions can become heated but no one stays upset.
"That makes it a pleasure to serve, and I think Tim's going to fit right in with that," Rogalski said. "He's not the kind of person to hold grudges or pull punches. He's going to speak his mind and at the end of the day be fine with whatever happens."
Redmond will serve through the end of Musgrave's term, which could be April or November of 2010, depending on whether the town goes to home rule status.
Redmond said he planned to prepare by picking the brains of other trustees.
Other than that, he doesn't have set goals.
"I believe people shouldn't come in with an agenda," he said. "If you want to say bettering the community is an agenda, that's my agenda."