Simonton ready for ‘new challenge’ as treasurer
EAGLE COUNTY — The Eagle County treasurer position is being contested by someone besides Karen Sheaffer for the first time in 20 years, and current Clerk & Recorder Teak Simonton has been waiting for this opportunity for the past few years.
Sheaffer retired Dec. 31 after six terms as treasurer, and Simonton has been telling her for years she’d be waiting.
“It’s a bigger job with more responsibility, and it’s a new challenge,” Simonton said. “I’m looking for something new. I enjoy what I’m doing, and I really like working in public service much more than I ever thought that I would.”
Simonton has been the clerk and recorder for the past 13 years after 20 years managing a broad-based private company. If she is elected treasurer, the Eagle County Commissioners will appoint her replacement. If she is not elected, then she’ll return to her current position.
“I’ve been in the clerk’s office for 13 years … it’s in very good shape right now,” Simonton said. “It’s a good opportunity to try my hand at something else and hopefully bring some progressive customer service and a little bit better communication to (the treasurer’s) office.”
Simonton has helped the clerk and recorder’s office usher in a new era of customer service by updating and providing information online as well as providing election results via Twitter.
“I love it,” she said. “I love to answer the phone and surprise people. I love to answer the phone on the weekends when I’m hiking up Vail Mountain with my snowshoes on and it’s someone who’s buying a car and I can help them. That’s also the expectations I have for my entire group.”
In 2015, an Eagle County employee working for Simonton was charged with embezzling more than $124,000 from the county. Simonton said she enjoyed the process of digging to uncover the crime.
“I really enjoyed the tracking, digging, charting and putting all of the numbers together,” she said. “It’s always been an interest of mine, the financial side of management.”
As Clerk and Recorder, Simonton prides herself on going above and beyond with regard to customer service. For November’s elections, Simonton and her team have made ballots available now in case residents leave town, but the ballots are by law required to be ready Oct. 17.
“I know I’m perfectly capable,” Simonton said. “I have the skills, competencies and the interest.”
Reporter Ross Leonhart can be reached at 970-748-2915 and email@example.com. Follow him on Instagram at colorado_livin_on_the_hill.