Photo by John F. Russell
Steamboat Springs Deputy City Manager Wendy DuBord sits on the steps in front of Centennial Hall, one of the many projects she was involved with during her time as deputy city manager. DuBord, who is retiring after nearly 19 years with the city, will be honored at a retirement party at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Haymaker Golf Course.
- Thursday, September 29, 2011, 5:30 p.m.
- Haymaker Golf Course, 34855 U.S. Highway 40, Steamboat Springs
Steamboat Springs Wendy DuBord joked that she couldn’t retire from Steamboat Springs “cold turkey,” so she agreed to work part time a couple of days a week through November.
But those who know her said it’s the city who will miss her more than she’ll miss it.
“It was always a pleasure to work with her,” former City Council President Loui Antonucci said Tuesday. “She was capable of getting just about anything done. To me, she was the backbone of the city. She really was.”
DuBord’s last official day is Oct. 6. The city will honor her during a retirement party at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Staxx New West Bar & Grill at Haymaker Golf Course. There will be appetizers and a cash bar. All are welcome.
Sitting in her office Tuesday afternoon, DuBord, 59, reflected on her nearly 19 years with the city. She pointed to shelves lined with three-inch binders full of project documents.
But more than the projects — which included Haymaker Golf Course, Howelsen Ice Arena, the Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs, improvements to Howelsen Hill, the Steamboat Springs Animal Shelter, the Steamboat Springs Community Center, the Regional Transit Center in Craig and Steamboat Springs Airport improvements, among others — DuBord said it’s the people who made her tenure memorable.
She credited the “phenomenal” city staffs, six city managers who each taught her something, the “incredibly dedicated” city councils, and local organizations and nonprofits she worked with for her “incredible career and great friendships.”
“That’s really the most meaningful part of my life to date,” she said.
A native of Burlington, Wash., DuBord moved to Steamboat in 1976 after graduating from Colorado Women’s College, which is now part of Denver University. DuBord, a Fulbright Scholar, studied German and European studies, but she didn’t go abroad. She also was captain of the ski team.
DuBord said she moved to Steamboat to be a ski bum. After working in property management and waiting tables, she got her first government job as administrative assistant to the Routt County Board of Commissioners in 1985.
Commissioner Nancy Stahoviak, who took office in January 1993 just two months before DuBord left her county job, said the county was sad to lose her. Despite not having worked with her long, Stahoviak said she knew the city was getting a good employee.
She said the county and city didn’t always get along, but DuBord was willing to work through the issues.
“I think the city’s really going to miss her,” Stahoviak said. “She’s really been a great asset not only to the city of Steamboat Springs but Routt County in general. I believe she’s always cared about the community first and what’s best for the community. That’s a good thing.”
DuBord was appointed deputy city manager in 1998 by then-City Manager Paul Hughes. Hughes, who just had been hired as city manager and was tasked with finding a deputy, said DuBord was the clear choice. Hughes said that as director of internal services, DuBord dealt with procurement, insurance and a variety of other issues.
“She works like a dog, really, always worked very hard,” he said. “She could be tough, too. There was a joke that I was the good cop and she was the bad cop. She could be very strict about people following the rules, for which I was grateful.”
DuBord said after a one-month vacation in Hawaii, she and her husband, Mike, will return to Steamboat. She joked that it might be hard not to get involved, so perhaps she’ll take on volunteer work. Current City Manager Jon Roberts said he wouldn’t mind being able to tap into DuBord’s knowledge of the city from time to time.
City Council member Jon Quinn said that when he was elected, he heard from a friend that DuBord was really who ran the city. He said in some ways that was correct because DuBord had her hands in so many aspects of the city’s affairs.
“Her departure will be a loss to the city because her experience and history really go an awfully long way,” he said. “Her depth of knowledge about city issues is remarkable. She’ll be missed.”
Roberts said the city posted DuBord’s position internally and soon will begin reviewing applications and interviewing candidates.
— To reach Jack Weinstein, call 970-871-4203 or email jweinstein@SteamboatToday.com