City employees are innovative problem solvers


One of the privileges of sitting on City Council is having the opportunity to hear, first hand, how city staff has worked to solve a problem in our community, whether it be repairing a broken water main or replacing the filtration system in the pools at the Rec Center.

In some cases, staff works long hours to fix a problem, as they did when there was a broken water main at the south-side intersection of Harrison and Main streets last January. While most of us were looking forward to weekend activities, the guys from the Cortez Public Works Department worked until dark on a Friday night and began again early Saturday morning to find and correct the problem. With compounding problems, the crews worked tirelessly through the night on Saturday and were able to fix the break and get all of the affected businesses back in service on Sunday morning. Though this was not a pleasant experience for anyone involved, it’s a great example of the dedication of city staff to fix a problem as quickly as possible — even when it means coming in early on a weekend or working through the night.

Did you know that our dedicated city staff also works hard to save taxpayer dollars? When the filtration system in the pools at the Rec Center needed work, it would have been easy to simply say that it required the specialized services of an outside vendor. Contracting out the work would have cost the city $22,000. Instead, city staff put their heads together and figured out what they could do to solve the problem. As a result, we will soon have two pristine pools at a taxpayer savings of $19,500!

In addition, the Parks & Rec Department saved $2,500 when adding additional electrical service to the Rotary Club Baseball Field. Instead of going with a turn-key project contacted out, the department chose to do the trenching themselves and also planned for the future so when additional projects are completed in the area, the needed electrical will already be in place. Planning ahead saves money!

One of the things that has most impressed me as I’ve served on the council is what a great staff the people of Cortez have working for them. They are innovative problem solvers who work hard to provide necessary services and save tax dollars while moving this community forward and ensuring that it will continue to be a nice place to live. Next time you see a city staff member, say “Thanks!” We all like to have our efforts noticed, and I’ll bet your smile and thank-you will help make somebody’s day.

Karen Sheek


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