The Montezuma Community Economic Development Association elected a new executive committee on Tuesday to replace outgoing members and fill vacant seats.
The association’s board president, Dave Hart, plans to step down this month, and the secretary position has been vacant for some time.
On Tuesday, the board of directors voted in an all-new team, with some longtime members taking new positions and new members filling some vacant ones.
Leila Hanson, who has held the vice chair position for several years while also performing the duties of a secretary, will become the new chairwoman. Haley Leonard Saunders, the public relations director for Southwest Memorial Hospital, will take over as vice chair, while Clint Rapier of Empire Electric Association will become the new secretary. Fred Brooks, mayor pro tem for Mancos, will become the official government representative on the board for this year, taking over from Lana Hancock of Dolores. Cassie Alexander will stay on as treasurer.
“Nobody ever wants (the secretary position) because they don’t want to take minutes,” Hart said. “It’s so difficult to participate in the meeting and take the minutes.”
He recommended the board appoint someone else to record each meeting, while the secretary could still be in charge of compiling the notes into minutes. That could be part of the job description for whoever replaces Chelsea Jones as economic development specialist, he suggested.
Jones plans to leave Montezuma County by May 21 to move to the Denver area with her husband, who recently accepted a job there. She said she will continue to work with the MCEDA board of directors by telecommute if needed, but the board hopes to hire a new person within the next few weeks. Laura Lewis Marchino, executive director of Region 9 Economic Development District and MCEDA member, said she had received one application and five inquiries about the job as of Tuesday. The deadline for applications is May 16.
For now, though, Rapier agreed to perform all the duties of a secretary. He will also become part of the hiring committee tasked with finding a new specialist.
Hanson said she had hoped to have a government representative from Cortez this year, but Tim Miller, the most likely candidate, didn’t attend the meeting, and Brooks was nominated instead. Only one person was nominated for each position, and all were approved unanimously.
Both Jones and Hart said they enjoyed their time on the MCEDA board. Hart will likely stay on the board as a representative from The Piñon Project.
“It’s been easier to have this job after so many others worked so hard to make it what it is,” he said on Tuesday.
The other board members applauded him and Jones at the end of the meeting.