County manager calling it a career after 24 years
Keith Montag will do what we all want to do, live here and not work if he doesn’t want to.
Montag announced that he’ll resign as the Eagle County manager effective Nov. 1. He has been with Eagle County government for 24 years. His resignation is his idea, he said.
“It’s a great time for me and the organization, as well,” Montag said.
He said he’ll help finalize the 2015 budget and aid in the search for his replacement.
Montag helped guide the county government through some of the most drastic budget cuts it has ever faced. When the recession hit in 2007, the county cut its budget from $138 million in 2008 to $87 million in 2013.
“We’ve weathered some trying times and come through with flying colors,” Montag said.
As part of those budget cuts, the county shed dozens of jobs, from 507 employees to 431, some through attrition and early retirement, and some through layoffs. Through it all, the county’s customer service remained excellent, Montag said.
“We’ve celebrated many successes and weathered some financial storms during my time here, and I couldn’t be prouder of our accomplishments,” he said. “We have a great team of employees. I’d put them up against any employee team anywhere in the country.”
Montag began his professional career as a land use planner in 1977 with Jefferson County. In 1990, he became Eagle County’s community development director and was appointed county manager in May 2009, after serving as interim manager on three separate occasions.
“I will always be grateful for the opportunity to serve and the relationships I’ve made during my 24 years at Eagle County,” Montag said.
Two of the three county commissioner seats are up for grabs in the November election, and Montag said this is a “great opportunity” for that board to choose its county manager.
He said he has no concrete plans but that he has several irons in the fire and is excited about what the future holds.
“I felt it was time to make a move and explore new opportunities that may present themselves. I’m leaving the organization in excellent shape,” Montag said.
He said he’s not leaving the area, at least not right now.
“Keith has been a constant at the county for decades and his calm demeanor has served us well. He will be missed,” said County Commissioner Jill Ryan.
Montag will receive a severance payment of six months’ salary, which is commensurate with the packages previously offered to employees of his tenure and rank within the organization.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and rwyrick@vail daily.com. Follow Randy on Twitter at @torqueandrecoil.
Paul Cuthbertson set out by himself around 3 p.m. Friday from the trailhead that leads up to the Polar Star Inn, according to his father, Mike, but never made it to the popular backcountry hut as a late-spring snowstorm moved in.