Ehmann named new county manager

BOCC appoints public works director to newly created position


Ed Ehmann, Elbert County's public works director, will have to get some new business cards.
On Feb. 26 at their regular meeting, the Board of County Commissioners chose Ehmann to be the county's new manager.
But the decision to promote Ehmann was not unanimous.
Saying that he “was conflicted” and “very much respected” Ehmann, Commissioner Larry Ross voted against the appointment, explaining, “I think the resources would be better spent getting our financial house in order.”
Commissioners Kurt Schlegel and Robert Rowland voted in favor of promoting Ehmann, who also will continue to oversee the county's public works department, at least for the next six months.
“We're going to consolidate some things and streamline operations,” Ehmann said. “This fall, we'll re-evaluate where we're at and possibly make some bigger changes then.”
Ehmann, 46, has worked for the county for seven years. Since the departure of former finance director Stan Wilmer in November 2013, he has “effectively been functioning as the county manager,” Rowland said at the Feb. 26 meeting. “We could not have gotten through the 2014 budget process without Ed taking the lead.”
Ehmann, a fourth-generation Coloradan who grew up in Sedalia, will be paid an annual base salary of $109,000 in his new position.
“I appreciate the opportunity and the confidence you have in me in performing the job,” Ehmann told the commissioners. “We have a great team in Elbert County. Our staff is what is going to make this work.”
As director of public works, Ehmann managed the county's road and bridge department and Schlegel complimented him on getting that department's operations — and finances — in order.
“You've made some extreme improvements in road and bridge and over the last eight or nine months, have really functioned as county manager,” Schlegel said. “You've gone through one of the toughest job interviews I could ever imagine.”
Schlegel called Ehmann's promotion “long overdue,” adding, “I don't think the job could have gone to a better person.”
Although he voted against the appointment — and did not support the board's move earlier this year to create the county manager job — Ross said Ehmann was well-respected by county staff and his appointment “will certainly boost morale.”
“Based on the complexion of this board of county commissioners, I don't doubt that it would be helpful to have a county manager,” Ross said at the meeting.
In his new position, Ehmann will oversee day-to-day operation of the county's various departments.
“We just don't have the money to go out and hire a bunch of new department heads,” Rowland said. “Given our lack of financial resources, this is a wise investment in the future.”
Rowland did acknowledge the new position will raise Ehmann's profile in the county.
“It takes courage to move into this role,” he said. “It's highly visible and subject to the election cycles here in Elbert County.”
Schlegel emphasized that the BOCC will still retain ultimate decision-making authority.
“As elected officials, we will set the direction of the county,” Schlegel said. “Ed and the staff will take care of the tactics to get it done.”


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I agree with Ross. To create a new high paid position in the county after promoting the tax hike debacle last year to getting fined for a related violation of the elections law is unconscionable if you ask me. Both Schlegel and Rowland should be removed from office. The Tea-Party guys are not being true to the TP agenda which is supposedly smaller, limited government not bigger with tax increases! I have to question the whole Tea Party complexion in Elbert County. It makes me wonder if these two guys aren't really Democrats? The dynamic duo of Ross-Schlegel doesn't even wince at spending $15k promoting a tax increase, $109k creating a new county employee, and then to top it all off, balancing the county budget on the people's backs by having the Sheriff hand out more traffic tickets! Let's face it, Elbert County is one giant speed trap and deficit spending nightmare! Doesn't Rowland know we are circling the drain faster? Is the goal to increase our debt to justify larger government and higher taxes? Is the goal to drive us so far into debt that we will grasp at any straws to get out of debt like selling off our water? The audacity of Ross & Schlegel just blows me away.

Saturday, March 1, 2014 | Report this

Ed Ehmann is a good man and the county needs a single point person to manage. If folks, including Ross take the time to look at and understand the county budget they will see that this isn't a "new, high paid position". Look for the facts. Ross doesn't understand the budget at all and just goes with sound bytes to play to the crowd. This isn't a political decision it is a business decision and it makes sense. Ehmann and Heap have done more for the county budget and getting it cleaned up and genuine than anyone has in the last two decades! They are sharp men who look at the big picture.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014 | Report this

We are very lucky to have a man like Ed at our county, he has been taking a leadership role for a long time now, crossing over into other areas and departments to offer help and his valuable insights, always done with dignity, humility and with only the best outcome for Elbert County, its citizens and his coworkers. He is much needed, and very much deserves the recognition and the authority to help us manage back to fiscal responsibility and the goals we have set to turn this county around. To look at this in such a narrow minded perspective as just a simple cost item and not an investment in our future is very naive and lacks any sign of a true understanding of the needs of Elbert County at this time.

Sunday, March 16, 2014 | Report this