‘Big shoes to fill’ in Glenwood Springs City Hall | News

In 6 limited years, Glenwood Springs Metropolis Supervisor Debra Figueroa helped information the city by means of a few normal disasters, two major bridge replacements, the ultimate planning stages of the city’s bold hearth evacuation route by way of South Bridge and the longest sustained detour in the nation’s background.

But for her personnel, reminiscences of Figueroa might constantly be etched by the gads of glitter now doing the job their way into metropolis hall’s each and every nook and cranny.

“Oh my, there was so much glitter,” Figueroa said, laughing as she reminisced Monday on a fireplace couch at the Resort Colorado. “During my going absent bash, [Parks and Recreation Director] Brian Smith set off this glitter bomb, and it just went almost everywhere. I assume that will possibly be my legacy.”

The respond to was a humble feint, of system: a distraction from the dilemma necessitating her to acknowledge she was leaving powering a staff — the legacy Figueroa explained she hopes she’s remembered for — that she cautiously picked and sculpted into the city staff that pulled Glenwood Springs, at moments kicking and screaming, via the COVID-19 pandemic, the Grizzly Creek Hearth, the 2021 debris flows and numerous other endeavors that under no circumstances manufactured the headlines.

With out skipping a beat, the 46-year-aged mom of one particular rattled off her commence day: “June 13, 2016.”

Throughout her vocation as the city’s appointed head of staff members, Figueroa was instrumental in ushering a new period of funding public tasks by neighborhood, state and federal grants, said Steve Boyd, the city’s acting metropolis supervisor and main working officer.

It’s fitting, then, that Figueroa remaining her situation to consider a work with Sustainable Techniques DC, a grant producing and advocacy business with workplaces in Colorado.

“I’ve often been amazed with how substantially Debra completed,” Boyd said. “She still left me some significant footwear to fill.”

Lights for turtles

Born in New York state, Figueroa grew up in Florida, the place she also commenced her job in public administration pursuing graduation from the University of Florida.

“My 1st actual task just after graduating with my master’s diploma was as a city manager’s intern for the city of Clearwater, Florida,” Figueroa recalled. “While I was there, I was ready to get turtle-pleasant lighting on the seashore, which is possibly a foolish factor, but it was a significant acquire for me.”

Municipal-level administration was not always the apple of her eye, nonetheless. In university, Figueroa had her sights established on functioning for the United Nations and helping youngsters with UNICEF.

City administration, on the other hand, opened new avenues by showing her how instrumental community governments ended up in encouraging their communities.

By the time her internship was entire, Figueroa was hooked. She’s labored in community administration considering that, from Sarasota, Florida, throughout the Mississippi River to Salem, Oregon, and again to the east in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, ahead of relocating to Glenwood Springs with her husband and daughter.

“Colorado has taught me so significantly,” Figueroa said. “Being mostly from the East Coastline, I discovered about the drinking water difficulties in the Rockies, wildfires and the want to normally plan for resiliency.”

All perform and no perform makes for negative nursery rhymes, so Figueroa stuffed her down time with typical Coloradan fare: hiking, biking and paying out time with the family outdoor.

“I appreciated all these items before,” she stated. “But, Colorado helped me fall in love with them even far more. I never think I’ll at any time be able to reside east of the Mississippi once again. This is residence.”

A self-explained geek, Figueroa also enjoys reading through and participating in movie games on the Nintendo Swap.

“I’m at the moment studying the last reserve in the ‘Witcher’ collection,” she stated. “I in no way performed the game titles, but ‘Skyrim’ did get me by means of the pandemic.”

Having an outlet was vital, simply because at town hall, a laundry listing of successive difficulties, disasters and hurdles awaited her.

Figueroa’s magic formula for obtaining by means of the tough situations was surrounding herself with committed team and constructing a tradition of help.

“Debra has really good instincts and judgment when it arrives to deciding on personnel,” explained Boyd, who joined Figueroa’s workers about a 12 months after she was hired. “It starts off in the collection system, but the moment on the team, Debra is normally advocating for you.”

Mayor Jonathan Godes stated Figueroa made a doing the job society in city corridor that manufactured individuals want to stay, even as the charge of dwelling skyrocketed and a altering labor drive led to opportunities throughout the country.

“She was an amazing skilled, and very intelligent,” Godes explained. “And, she was always equipped and keen to get issues completed.”

The system to locate Glenwood Springs’ new town manager started about a month back. The metropolis is accepting applications right until Friday.

Boyd claimed Glenwood Springs contracted KRW Associates, a business that specializes in general public sector executive lookups, to sift by way of the purposes just before presenting them to the city council for the job interview procedure.

Semifinalists will be interviewed through council executive periods, and Glenwood Springs General public Data Officer Bryana Starbuck claimed at the time finalists are picked, the council will host a community fulfill-the-candidates occasion prior to finalizing the variety.

“All told,” Boyd reported, “we hope to have the new metropolis supervisor in place by the close of the year.”

He added he would not be throwing his hat in the ring.

City Legal professional Karl Hanlon was existing for Figueroa’s first choosing course of action, and he reported she brought a amount of knowledge to the metropolis that amazed him as a result of to her last working day, July 8.

“She did not get rid of her temper, and she by no means lost her kindness,” Hanlon stated. “She was eager to take risks to make sure people were Ok and press challenging to make guaranteed Glenwood bought what it needed from the state and the feds.

“She will be fondly remembered by her team.”

Starbuck praised Figueroa’s amazing-headedness in the face of adversity and her means to rally people to a typical induce.

“Debra rocks,” Starbuck exclaimed. “We’re all going to overlook her.”