Our View: Nancy Stahoviak’s service deserving of celebration
January 1, 2013
It's been two decades since Nancy Stahoviak first was sworn in as a county commissioner. When she steps down from that position Tuesday, Stahoviak will leave behind a legacy of public service characterized by an unwavering commitment to the duties of her office, tireless advocacy for human service issues and early childhood education and political savviness not often seen in local government.
We didn't always support Stahoviak's positions, but throughout the course of her 20 years in office, we can say we almost always respected how she arrived at them. Stahoviak has prided herself on being meticulously prepared for her job, including when it meant being openly skeptical or even critical of the information she was provided by her staff or those seeking to do business with the county. She had the willingness and conviction to say "no," even when it might not have been the popular or politically expedient answer. But Stahoviak also was open to changing her position when presented with persuasive information that ran contrary to her own beliefs or convictions.
Stahoviak's dedication to her job and to her constituents perhaps is unrivaled in Northwest Colorado. Her health issues throughout the years are well documented, and when most people would have taken the far easier approach of focusing their energy on their own well-being, Stahoviak has done the opposite, never wavering in her duties as county commissioner. Many weeks, that meant her presence in the commissioners' hearing room was via conference call from a hospital bed, rehabilitation facility or her Oak Creek home. But her presence always was felt, and her physical absence seldom, if ever, hindered her ability to act on behalf of her constituents.
It's therefore fitting, though certainly unfortunate, that Stahoviak's final weeks as commissioner have been spent at the Doak Walker Care Center, where she is rehabbing from yet another surgery. She hopes to be in attendance Tuesday when Tim Corrigan is sworn in as her successor. Whether that happens will have no bearing on Stahoviak's legacy, for her presence rightfully will be felt in the historic downtown courthouse for years to come.