Peacock finalist for Pitkin job

Four months after resigning for what he said were personal family reasons, former Mesa County Administrator Jon Peacock is a finalist to become Pitkin County manager.

Peacock is one of five in contention for the post, joining Carbondale Town Manager Tom Baker, Larimer County Manager Frank Lancaster, Interim Pitkin County Manager Phyllis Mattice and Assistant Summit County Manager Scott Vargo.

Peacock left the Mesa County job in July after 4 1/2 years, saying he planned to take an indefinite sabbatical to help manage his wife’s family estate. He had taken a number of weeks off prior to resigning.

Reached Monday, Peacock said he had considered asking to take a leave of absence from his position and return once his family matters had been resolved, which he figured would take seven to nine months. But given the challenging economic times facing the county, Peacock said, he didn’t think it would be wise or fair to leave the county without an administrator for that long.

“I thought it was better for the organization, better for my family, to make a clean break,” he said. “It’s certainly something I considered. I didn’t think it made sense for all parties involved.”

Ultimately, Peacock said his family was able to resolve matters more quickly than they expected. He traveled back and forth between Grand Junction and New York this past summer, and he and his wife returned to the Grand Valley in time to enroll their two daughters in school for the fall semester.

“In essence, things have gone more smoothly than I had anticipated,” he said.

Peacock said the Pitkin County job is the only one he’s applied for, calling it an “attractive” opportunity. He’s interested in the job because, he said, Pitkin County is a well-managed, innovative organization and it would give him an opportunity to continue living on the Western Slope.

Peacock made $125,000 a year as Mesa County administrator. The Pitkin County manager job has been advertised with a base salary of $135,000.

The finalists will interview Nov. 19, and a new manager should be in place by Jan. 1.

“I would say that Jon is on equal footing (with the other finalists),” said Pitkin County Solid Waste Manager Chris Hoofnagle, who is serving as a liaison between county commissioners and Colorado Springs-based recruiting firm KRW Associates. “They’re all viewed as equally well-qualified and interesting.”


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