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County’s Schulte named Administrator of the Year

A new glass plaque adorns a corner shelf in the office of Greg Schulte, Archuleta County Administrator.

The plaque reads: “In Honor of Outstanding Leadership and Commitment to Excellence in Public Administration.”

Schulte was presented with the Association of Colorado County Administrators’ (ACCA) 2009 County Administrator of the Year at the Colorado Counties, Inc. (CCI) conference Dec. 1, held in Colorado Springs.

“I was very surprised. I had no idea I was nominated for the award, so when my name was called out, I was shocked and flattered,” Schulte said.

Schulte may have been shocked, but no one else interviewed was.

“He’s done so many things for the county and for so many different departments. What can you say about the guy? He just does such a good job; he’s so committed to his job and his profession,” Commissioner Clifford Lucero said. “I think the award says it all.”

“I’m just so proud of Greg and what he has done and the team that he has built up,” said Commissioner Bob Moomaw, adding that the management team Schulte has helped to build has “changed the way the county is run.”

A selection committee made up of Hilary Fletcher, who serves as ACCA president and Pitkin County Manager, the previous president of ACCA and the previous recipient of the award chose Schulte out of an estimated pool of four nominations, Fletcher explained.

“We were so impressed with what Greg has accomplished in his tenure with Archuleta County,” Fletcher said.

Qualities in choosing a recipient include leadership, ethics and integrity, Fletcher noted.

“He’s just a great leader. His commitment to Archuleta County is amazing,” Lucero said.

In addition to having qualities that fit the bill in the eyes of the selection committee, another part of Schulte’s nomination lifted him above the rest.

Moomaw and Fletcher pointed out the involvement in the nomination by those outside of the Archuleta County government as something that set Schulte’s recommendation apart.

“It was clearly a community effort in nominating him,” Fletcher said.

According to Lucero, it’s only fitting the effort was a community one.

“He believes in the community. Not just the county, but the town. His glass is always half full. He’s never negative; he’s always positive. He looks at every situation and sees the best in it,” Lucero said.

Schulte was nominated for the award by the county commissioners and department heads, as well as by Town of Pagosa Springs mayor Ross Aragon and town manager David Mitchem.

Moomaw explained that the nominations are typically completed by only county commissioners.

Mitchem mentioned that they heard about the possible nomination from Moomaw and were happy to lend support.

“He has vision, has done a very good job of assisting the county in resolving their financial difficulties and I believe he’s a great leader,” Mitchem.

Indeed, much of the praise and recognition for Schulte stemmed from his role in helping the county rebound financially over the last two years.

Fletcher stated that Schulte modeled integrity and leadership while making “extraordinary strides” in helping the county rebound financially.

“When Greg first came on board, the county wasn’t in good shape,” Lucero said. “He’s taken us from the bottom, from barely swimming ... we’re above water, now. We have a long way to go, but we’re going in the right direction.”

While the accolades are in Greg’s name, Schulte and the commissioners also see the award as recognition for the county.

“I’m honored, but I also feel it’s humbling, too, because this award really reflects the progress of the county as a whole,” Schulte said, adding, “The credit goes to the entire organization.”

“They recognized how far Archuleta County has come in the last two years,” Moomaw said, adding that commissioners from other counties stated they were impressed with the progress of the county at the CCI conference.

“This is a great thing for Archuleta County. It puts us back on the map as far as being a leader in the state,” Lucero said.

Schulte’s contributions to the state aren’t done.

At the same conference, Schulte was elected Vice President of ACCA and will serve a two-year term.

randi@pagosasun.com