Philo Shelton resigns as Steamboat’s public works director |

Philo Shelton resigns as Steamboat’s public works director

Philo Shelton

— The city of Steamboat Springs is looking for a new public works director to replace Philo Shelton, who is leaving to take a job in Los Alamos, N.M.

Shelton said Wednesday that his last day of work will be June 8 and that he will start his public works director job in Los Alamos on June 25.

"I enjoyed working here," Shelton said. "With the economy as tough as it is, I need a position with a little more certainty."

Shelton said he has been working for Steamboat for 4 1/2 years. Before that, he was the public works director in Black Hawk for nearly seven years.

As Steamboat's public works director, Shelton oversaw utilities, wastewater treatment, engineering, special projects, transit, the Steamboat Springs Airport and the streets/fleet department. He said he supervised 65 employees. At his new job, he will have a staff of 100 people.

"Obviously, it's a promotion and a little better pay and retirement plan," Shelton said.

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Shelton said that for two years, he was one of the city's many employees affected by furloughs. More recently, he has been the city's only department leader not to be affected by them, he said.

The city chose to allow him to work 40 hours per week along with engineers so they could work on the city's sewer improvements. At the conclusion of the sewer projects next year, he said, it would have been possible that he again would be furloughed.

"There's just too much uncertainty for me," he said.

Shelton will be moving to Los Alamos with his two children and wife, Debbie, who is a first-grade teacher at Strawberry Park Elementary School. Shelton said the move also will bring them closer to family.

"Philo certainly was an asset to the city," Steamboat City Manager Jon Roberts said Wednesday. "Being an engineer myself, I was very impressed with Philo's engineer abilities."

Roberts said that Shelton would be missed and that the city would conduct a local and nationwide search for a replacement. Roberts said that the best applicant would be selected and that the new public works director could come from within.

"It's always possible, and we always encourage in-house employees to apply," Roberts said.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email

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