Routt County Welcomes New County Director
Jay Harrington will officially join Routt County as the new manager on September 20. Harrington will come directly from his work as city manager at Carbondale.
“I can’t wait to get up there and get started,” Harrington said.
He said his start date was too far away to name specific projects he would focus on, but said he was excited to help solve two of Routt Count’s hottest issues – affordable housing and child care.
“I think I have a good experience of public sector management in Colorado and work well with many state agencies, which we interact with at the county level,” Harrington said. “I think I do well under pressure and hope to bring some leadership to the staff.”
The county manager is responsible for overseeing county employees, as well as advising the Routt County Board of Commissioners on policy matters affecting county residents.
“It seems to be a really good fit for both elected officials and staff,” Harrington said.
Although he has lived all over Colorado, Harrington said he has been traveling to Routt County for vacations and sports tournaments for decades, prompting him to apply for the job and relocate. He previously worked in Cortez, Archuleta County, Telluride, Pegosa Springs and Durango, where he began his career in government as a senior planner.
“Steamboboat was on the shortlist of places I was going to go from where I am now,” Harrington said.
Tim Corrigan, chairman of the council of commissioners, said he was confident Harrington would point the county in the right direction.
“After a rigorous screening process of several candidates, we have concluded that Jay’s experience, honesty, ethics, unique background and cooperative leadership style will allow him to thrive as a County Director.” , Corrigan said. “We are thrilled to have Jay join our team and help guide the future of Routt County.”
Since March 2020, Mark Collins has served as Acting County Director. Collins, who took the job just before the COVID-19 hit, described his time as an interim manager as an “enjoyable extended stay.”
“It has been a very important professional experience for me,” said Collins.
Prior to working as a county director, Collins held various government positions and as a vice president at the University of Wyoming.
Collins said Harrington’s experience planning and working in other resort communities would help him tackle Routt County’s biggest issues, which Collins said were housing, services workforce, transport, climate action and the transition to a renewable energy economy.
“All of these are going to be very important regional issues for him,” Collins said. “Fortunately Jay has a lot of planning experience which will be a bonus and an advantage. “
While Harrington will occupy one of the most senior positions in the county, Collins said success in this position is highly dependent on ensuring that knowledgeable and qualified staff occupy lower positions.
“The most important thing I would like to stress is that you need people who give you good feedback and equip you with the right tools so that you can do your job responsibly,” Collins said. “You are responsible for all day-to-day operations and services in the county. “
To reach Alison Berg, call 970-871-4229 or email [email protected]