Vickie Clark to leave her position at Routt County Department of Human Services | SteamboatToday.com

Vickie Clark to leave her position at Routt County Department of Human Services

For more than nine years, Vickie Clark, in her role as director of the Routt County Human Services Department, has been involved in just about everything and anything to do with community welfare.

"I'm proud of that," Clark said Monday morning. "If there was a place at the table, Human Services was there to represent the underserved people in our community."

Clark said she expects the department’s role to continue despite the fact that she will be stepping away from her position June 16. She is leaving the position here to take a similar job as health and social services director for Sierra County in northern California — a job that will allow her to live in the same household with her husband for the first time in two years.

Her husband has been working as a professor at the University of Nevada-Reno, and the couple has been forced into a long-distance relationship since he took the job.  She said it's been difficult for the two to find positions in their respective fields in the same state — let alone the same town.

Maintaining the relationship has meant traveling back and forth, meeting in the middle and doing whatever was necessary to maintain their relationship. They were able to do that, but Clark is the first to admit it wasn't ideal.

"We have been able to do it, but it's been rough," she said.

In March, when Clark learned about the Sierra County job close to where her husband teaches, she applied and then went through a multi-layered interview process that led to a job offer in May.

"It was a hard decision,” Clark said. “I love my job, I love this community and I have invested a lot of myself into it.”

She said she expects the move to be a big change as she transitions from life in the resort community of Steamboat Springs to a much smaller county that serves about 3,200 people in northern California just across the state line from Reno. Her final day in Steamboat Springs will be June 16, and she will step into her new role July 5.

"First and foremost, I am going to miss my staff,” Clark said. “They were the line workers to all the good works that happen in Routt County. I'm also going to miss the collaborative efforts with all the great people in this community.”

Clark said the Routt to Work program, which was created through a joint effort between the human services department, LiftUp of Routt County and Routt County United Way, is something she takes pride in, and her department's efforts to put Routt County on the map as an advocate for the Colorado Child Care Assistance Program also stands out.

Mike Sidinger, Routt County Human Services assistant director and child welfare program manager, will step into the director position during the search for Clark’s replacement. Routt County is currently accepting applications and is looking to fill the position in early July.

For Clark, who grew up in the San Francisco Bay area, the move will be a return to her home state of California. She said she used to vacation in the Sierra Mountains with her family as a child and is familiar with the area.

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966