The search for new town manager begins
By Kendra Walker
After 16 years as the Mt. Crested Butte town manager and totaling almost 40 years serving various roles for the town, Joe Fitzpatrick has officially announced his retirement effective September 2.
Since moving to Mt. Crested Butte in 1978, Fitzpatrick was formerly a Mt. Crested Butte mayor, Planning Commission board member and owner of property management company, Solutions, Inc. His role has spanned the planning and execution of multiple milestones for the town of Mt. Crested Butte, including the construction and extensions of the Recreation Path, the construction of the Lodge at Mountaineer Square, solidifying the Snodgrass Trail access, and the development of the Adventure Park at the Base Area.
“Last Friday was definitely a surprise when we all received the notice from Joe that he was retiring September 2,” said Mt. Crested Butte mayor Janet Farmer in a report to the town council. “He has been an amazing and dedicated asset for our community and a huge support for me. I will miss him—although he isn’t leaving town!”
Fitzpatrick confirmed that he and his wife plan to continue enjoying their home in Mt. Crested Butte. “We have no desire to leave. We love the mountains and we’ll be staying here,” he said.
The Town Council held an executive session on Tuesday to discuss the process for hiring Fitzpatrick’s replacement.
“We as a council decided we’re not in a super big rush to find Joe’s replacement,” said Farmer. “We want to do it thoughtfully and carefully.” A screening committee will also be formed, made up of council members, to go through the applications and make recommendations to the rest of the council. The council wants to find the best candidate, whether that is hiring from within or elsewhere.
“We all agreed that it’s our obligation to the town and our constituents and even to the county to try to do this thoughtfully,” said Farmer.
Council also agreed on a selection for interim town manager, but was unable to disclose the name as of press time, and will officially approve the decision at the next council meeting on August 18.
Mt. Crested Butte community development director Carlos Velado was recently promoted to assistant town manager and will be working closely with Fitzpatrick this month prior to his departure. “I’ll continue to help Carlos, to help him learn and get a little more up to speed while the Town Council makes plans and a decision for my replacement,” said Fitzpatrick.