By Carlton Mundus
Special to The SUN
The Special District Association of Colorado (SDA) has honored Diane Bower, the manager of Pagosa Fire Protection District, with SDA’s 2013 Manager of the Year Award.
SDA annually presents this award to a special district manager who has demonstrated outstanding leadership, dedication and service to their district. The award was announced at the SDA Annual Conference, which was held in Keystone, Colo., Sept. 18-20.
Bower has been with the Pagosa Fire Protection District for more than 33 years. She quickly rose through the ranks to become district manager and most recently district fire chief. The Pagosa Springs Fire Department was combined with the Pagosa Fire Protection District under Bower’s guidance, which eliminated duplicate administrative services and significantly reduced overall costs to the taxpayers. In addition, several areas have been included in the fire district, more than tripling its original geographic area, including seven stations.
Bower has improved intergovernmental relations and increased open communications with other entities not only in Pagosa Springs, but throughout Colorado. She also improved staff morale and communications, and significantly increased the number of volunteer firefighters. She has been successful in securing short-term bond issues and led the district’s mission in implementation of impact fees. She was Colorado’s first certified fire investigator, and an adjunct instructor for the National Fire Academy. The Special District Association is proud to recognize Diane Bower with its Manager of the Year Award.