Steamboat Springs Brita Horn, the South Routt County Republican who lost her bid for the Routt County Board of Commissioners in the primary election, has been appointed Routt County treasurer.
Horn will begin her new job in December and fill a vacancy left by Routt County Treasurer Jeanne Whiddon, who announced in July that she would retire at the end of November.
Horn will fill out the remaining two years of Whiddon’s term. Horn on Tuesday said she then would run for election in 2014.
Commissioner Doug Monger said eight people applied for the position, and the Board of Commissioners interviewed four finalists.
“It was very competitive, and I appreciate the opportunity to continue to serve Routt County,” Horn said.
Monger, a Democrat, supported Republican Nancy Stahoviak’s motion to appoint Horn. Diane Mitsch Bush, a Democrat, chose to abstain from the vote.
Mitsch Bush said Tuesday that she thought there were three candidates that were well-qualified for the job.
“I didn’t want to pick just one,” Mitsch Bush said, adding that she rarely abstains from a vote for that reason.
Stahoviak echoed that there were three very qualified candidates for the job, but she thought Horn has the enthusiasm and leadership skills necessary for an elected official.
“She’s been a community member and public servant for quite some time, and that shows she cares about the community and has for quite some time,” Stahoviak said.
Monger thought Horn was the right fit for Routt County because of her technical expertise and demonstrated public service.
Horn is a former Westin hotel executive who is active in emergency services and has been the chief of the Rock Creek Volunteer Fire Department since 2008. She has served on the Routt County Planning Commission and as treasurer for the Fair Board.
Whiddon had recommended longtime county employee Carol Comeau as her replacement, but she thinks Horn will contribute a lot of her public service experience and do a great job.
“Even though my recommended person did not get the job, I’m happy with the person coming in,” Whiddon said.
Whiddon said she has volunteered to help Horn through the transition.
In addition to being the treasurer, Horn will be the public trustee responsible for managing foreclosure filings at the county. Horn’s annual salary is set by state statute and will be $71,000.
To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com