For more than 20 years, the Montezuma County Board of Commissioners has held weekly meetings on Monday.
Beginning Jan. 15, the all-day meetings will be held on Tuesday, beginning at 9 a.m. The agendas are posted on the county website.
“Having our meetings on Tuesday is a better schedule for staff to prepare presentations, and we think that day is more convenient for the public who have business with the commissioners,” said commissioner Larry Don Suckla.
Commissioners Keenan Ertel and Jim Candelaria also supported the change. They added that when pressing issues come up over the weekend, commissioners may work Monday to gather information and consider solutions.
The change also allows Dolores and Montezuma county commissioners to attend each other’s meetings. Dolores County commissioners meet on the first and third Mondays of the month.
The county also announce that it is hiring.
A search for a new planning director is underway, after former director LeeAnn Milligan left in December. Seven applicants are being considered, said county administrator Shak Powers, and interviews will be scheduled soon. Salary range is $45,000 to $50,000.
Planning and zoning board member Rob Pope suggested to the commissioners that a primary role of the new planning director should be to actively promote and attract business development in the county. Duties in the office should be organized to allow time for the director to seek new business potential.
“I believe that outreach is important for our economy,” he said during public comment.
The county planning department is streamlining the development application process and will require that processing and publication fees be paid upfront.
Other positions open at the county include landfill manager, deputy clerk and registered dental hygienist. More information is available at montezumacounty.org.
Planning services are still available through planning assistant Jane Duncan. Former longtime planning director Karen Welch has been hired on a temporary basis to help with the workload during the transition.
There is an opening on the planning commission board for an alternate member, who attends all meetings and is a voting member in case another board member is absent. Contact the planning office at 970-565-2801 for an application.
Other county newsDuring a meeting with the Montezuma County Health Department, county commissioners stood their ground about issuing 2 percent bonuses this year for all county staff rather than raises. The one-time payment was seen as a way to cut costs because of an expected continued drop in revenues.
Health Department officials said they were not aware the decision was for a bonus only. They had planned to issue permanent 2 percent raises, and have the funds in their department budget to cover the increase. They added that they get most of their funding from state and federal sources.
But Ertel and Suckla said the Board of County Commissioners has the ultimate decision on whether raises are issued for county employees, not department heads.
“If one department gets a raise, and not all the others, it would not be fair,” Suckla said.
Also, Health and Environment Director Melissa Mathews said there have been complaints about the increasing use of RVs in the county as permanent residences. She said the residences could be problematic if they hooked up to a sewer system that can’t handle additional wastes.