De Beque town manager has left post

FILE PHOTO BY CHRISTOPHER TOMLINSON—Bruce Smith became town manager of De Beque in 2006 after holding town manager jobs in Collbran and Palisade.

The town of De Beque is considering its next step after the departure of Town Manager Bruce Smith.

Smith became De Beque’s first town manager in 2006 and left the job abruptly earlier this month.

Shirley Nichols, the town clerk, began working in De Beque about the same time as Smith. She was unavailable. Mayor Doc Hansen also couldn’t be reached immediately for comment.

A woman who answered the telephone at Smith’s residence said she would relay a message, but noted, “He probably won’t talk to you.”

Smith didn’t immediately return a phone call.

Smith went to work for De Beque soon after he left Collbran. During the height of drilling activity, he shepherded several annexations through the town process.

Under Smith’s leadership, De Beque also feuded with Mesa County, which threatened to block those annexations.

Smith’s departure from De Beque marks the third time he has headed, and left, a small Mesa County municipality.

Smith was previously the town manager in Palisade and then performed the same function in Collbran.

Smith left Collbran in 2005 and soon after landed the job in De Beque. He was joined there by Nichols, who had been the Coll-bran town clerk.

Smith and Nichols later sued Collbran, alleging that the town had made disparaging comments about them. Nichols prevailed in her claims, but Smith did not, the Colorado Court of Appeals ruled.


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