Photo by John F. Russell
Former Routt County Planner Mary Alice Page-Allen, shown here in February 2007 and now president of the Yampa Valley Housing Authority's board of directors, has been named the Housing Authority's new asset/program manager.
Updated January 21, 2009 at midnight
Steamboat Springs Mary Alice Page-Allen takes the reins of the Yampa Valley Housing Authority at a time of financial turmoil for the organization and with an eye toward working more collaboratively with the city of Steamboat Springs and developers.
Page-Allen's hiring to the position of asset/program manager for the Housing Authority was announced Monday. Page-Allen - who was president of YVHA's board of directors but recused herself from all hiring and candidate discussions - was chosen from a group of four finalists interviewed Friday by an interview committee made up of board members. The other three finalists were Bruce Banisky, Mark O'Reilly and Sylvia Watkins-Castillo. A fifth finalist, Abby Varner, removed herself from consideration before Friday.
"They all brought some unique skills to the position," Nancy Stahoviak, county commissioner and YVHA board member, said about the finalists.
What set Page-Allen apart, Stahoviak said, was her familiarity with the organization and the interview committee's belief that she has the organizational and clerical skills necessary to guide the Housing Authority through a scaled-back "survival" period.
"The decision to offer the position to Mary Alice was unanimous," Stahoviak said.
Because of budget cuts, the Housing Authority eliminated its three previous staff positions at the end of 2008 and will suspend active affordable housing development efforts in 2009.
"What we have said for 2009 is we're in a survival mode," Stahoviak said, "and we need to really look at what funding opportunities there are after 2009."
Page-Allen said she looks forward to the challenge.
"I'm all about public service. This kind of work appeals to me. To be back in the public sector is something I've trained myself for, I've educated myself for," said Page-Allen, who received her master's degree in public administration from the University of Colorado at Denver last year. "I think the transition will be fairly seamless."
Page-Allen said she looks forward to improving the Housing Authority's touchy relationship with the city of Steamboat Springs, which has its own affordable housing laws and staff.
"I think it's a good opportunity to create some additional collaboration. Hopefully we can get some things in the pipeline and have things work in a more collaborative fashion," said Page-Allen, who also hopes to work more closely with the development community. "Hopefully we can grow that side of the equation."
Page-Allen will be responsible for the continued management of Hillside Village Apartments, Fox Creek Village and the Fish Creek Mobile Home Park. She will monitor deed restrictions and administer Housing Authority programs such as down-payment assistance.
Page-Allen is a former Routt County planner. From 1996 to 2001, she was the planning director for Uintah County, Utah. Page-Allen wrote in her cover letter that she understands the challenges facing the Housing Authority and has the skills necessary to guide it through a difficult period.
Tony Seaver, president pro tem of YVHA's board of directors, will assume the role of president. However, Page-Allen said Seaver has indicated he has no interest in holding the position long term.