Coming soon: A new county administrator

It seems a bit counter-intuitive that a woman who spent much of her career working for Democratic chief executives in Denver has been hired by the three Republican Mesa County commissioners as their new county administrator.

But the commissioners unanimously chose Chantal Unfug, currently manager of the Denver Parks and Recreation Department, in part because the department she manages in Denver is close in staff size to the entire Mesa County government. And, as Mesa County has had to do, Unfug has had to cut personnel to deal with budget reductions.

But those were far from the only reasons the commissioners chose Unfug over four other finalists.

Commissioner Janet Rowland described Unfug as “high energy” and a strategic thinker with strong organizational skills.

Commissioner Craig Meis pointed to Unfug’s ability to work in community partnerships — an important characteristic since Mesa County regularly works in partnership with the municipalities in the county, with School District 51, Mesa State College, state and federal agencies and a host of private businesses and charitable organizations.

In addition to being the unanimous choice of the commissioners, Unfug was the favorite of a group of community panelists who interviewed all of the finalists, according to a county press release.

We’re glad the commissioners ultimately rejected a suggestion that they not hire a county administrator at all and divide the administrator’s duties among the three commissioners.

We’re also pleased that they looked beyond the political nature of Unfug’s past jobs to select the person they believe is best for this position. Unfug appears to have the personality, skills and knowledge of Colorado issues that should serve Mesa County well.


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