Steamboat fire chief in contract negotiations



Ron Lindroth

— Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue Chief Ron Lindroth said Thursday morning that his contract still is being negotiated to become the new fire chief for the Central Valley Fire District in Belgrade, Mont.

He has not formally accepted the position, Lindroth said.

“I told them that I was very interested in the job, and we entered into negotiations to make that a reality,” he said.

Lindroth said he is waiting to hear back from the fire district.

Lindroth and three others were finalists for the position. The fire district board chose Lindroth on Tuesday night, and the board began negotiating a contract.

Lindroth became Steamboat’s fire chief in November 2009. Previously, he was an officer with the Poudre Fire Authority in Fort Collins. He was hired after a nationwide search that included 55 candidates.


BeCoolHoneyBunny 5 years, 3 months ago

Why does it seem like there is a high turn over rate for high level management within the city in the past 5 years. City Manager, Finance Directors, Fire Chiefs, they all seem to have a short stay before moving on to other cities. What does this say about how the city is run. Is this good or bad?


sledneck 5 years, 3 months ago

If you want to quit smoking stop buying ciggarettes.


greenwash 5 years, 3 months ago

High cost of living here is reason for managers leaving SBS...Pretty simple.


dave reynolds 5 years, 3 months ago

cheaper in Montana and no sales tax.skiing great at Bridge Bowl nice area..good luck Ron


Scott Ford 5 years, 3 months ago

Good Morning BeCoolHoneyBunny - You highlight a retention problem that is not unique to the city. More often than not, when folks are recruited from outside the Yampa Valley for professional positions there is a high likelihood that they will move away when what they perceive a better opportunity presents itself. That is OK - it's reality. There often is an underlying presumption that talent outside of the Yampa Valley is more qualified than talent locally. Sometimes this is true - but not often.

We make a big deal about shopping locally. However, is not nearly as valuable to the local economy as hiring locally. A local person may not be the perfect experience fit, however, if they have the attitude and aptitude for the job experience can be developed. The bonus is that this employee's commitment to the community is very "sticky" and they tend to stay. Simply put their roots run deeper and they do not easily up root.

I am not sure but I think western Montana is home for Ron and his wife. This opportunity likely allows them an opportunity to move back closer to family. I wish him well.


Scott Wedel 5 years, 3 months ago

And in particular, when you hire people that give their names to recruiting services then no one should be surprised that those people left their names with the recruiting services.

I think it is particularly STUPID to use recruiting services to fill jobs in Steamboat because this is a resort area where all sorts of skilled people have moved or would like to move. So placing a classified ad is most likely to find a skilled person wanting to live here as compared to a mercenary looking for a stepping stone.. This is not some insular town where the local choice is among people that have no outside experience or knowledge.


sedgemo 5 years, 3 months ago

If Ron leaves, we also lose the valued services of his wife, Raquel, who is a top-shelf equine veterinarian and also a great asset to our community. We need to aim towards keeping these sorts of high value people in the valley.


Scott Ford 5 years, 3 months ago

Hi Scott W – I would agree with you. I am not sure I would use the word “stupid”, to describe the process. I think shortsighted is a better fit. From my perspective I think the 80/20 rule applies on a lot of levels.

Simply put, 80% of the time there is an individual in the valley with the attitude and skill aptitude to fill most local companies’ personnel needs. Sometimes advertising outside of the valley works – but often although the position may be a great fit – and the individual really-really wants to live here / housing cost make it prohibitive. It is reality.

So as a general rule of thumb our local employers (private and public) would be well served 80% of the time if they focused their recruitment/hiring efforts locally. The benefits of hiring locally are many, but at a minimum a local individual that has been here a while is well aware of the housing situation and has figured something out. In addition, typically they are already employed and when they take a new job this often results in a new position for another individual. We do not get this secondary impact when we import people for positions even if they really – really want to live here and may have the skills.

Of course this approach does not work 100% of the time – but it works at least 80% of the time. In terms of likely magnitude of impact on the locally economy I think the value rating is as follows: Hire locally = 70% benefit Give locally = 25% benefit (This means charitable giving to local non-profits.) Shop Locally = 5% benefit (I know this will cause some folks some heart burn / but I know the numbers all too well.)

So for example - Celia Dunham will be retiring soon. It would be very short-sighted for the SSSD RE-2 to spend too much time seeking a Strawberry Park Elementary School Principal from outside of the Yampa Valley . I am sure there are folks that have the appropriate credentials, attitude and aptitude. They may lack the experience – but that happens with the job. After 1 year on the job they will have 80% of the pragmatic experience they will need.

We can only hope Dr. Meek and the School Board will make a commitment of hiring locally. The biggest bang for the buck and effort is associated with hiring locally whenever possible.


livinginthetwilightzone 5 years, 3 months ago

$100,000 year with benefits, company car and gas, 9-5 job, and no prior experience as a chief. Yeah, definetly sounds like he was underpaid.


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