County hires interim finance director, goes without planning manager


Staff Writer

Archuleta County is again without a permanent finance director, and is set to continue without a planning manager.

Now, the county is reassessing how to move forward with the finance director position.

Archuleta County ceased to have a permanent finance director on March 27 with the departure of Larry Augsbury.

Archuleta County Administrator Bentley Henderson and Attorney Todd Starr declined to comment on the reason for Augsbury’s departure in a meeting with SUN staff. Augsbury, too, declined to comment on the matter.

Augsbury was hired in June 2013 by former interim county administrator Jesse Smith following a vacancy in the position since Feb. 8, when former director Diane Sorensen resigned to take a job with La Plata County.

Henderson said an interim finance director began on April 9.

That interim director is Glenn Smith, who Henderson said was recommended by the county’s human resources director and the Government Finance Officers Association.

Smith, working as a consultant, has been hired primarily to help the county’s finance department prepare for its annual field audit, Henderson said.

Smith’s resume boasts more than 40 years of experience in local government finance and accounting as a consultant and is retired.

According to the resume, Smith retired as chief fiscal officer/director of finance of Payson, Ariz., on June 1, 2007, after holding that position since Oct. 31, 1996.

Prior to that, Smith served other city governments in Arizona and Colorado in a variety of financial roles.

Smith graduated with a bachelor’s in business administration from Colorado State University in 1965.

Smith’s contract as a consultant extends to July 31, though Smith may be done sooner depending on how Henderson and other county staff decide to move forward regarding the finance director position.

“We’re going to look at all of our options,” Henderson said, adding that how the position will be filled is “not carved in stone.”

The county only recently decided how the planning department should move forward — without a planning manager.

Despite several attempts to fill the position of planning manager since last fall, the position remains vacant.

Now, county officials have decided to forego filling the position and will instead continue work in the department in its current capacity.

That current capacity, Henderson explained, is to have Archuleta County Public Works Director Ken Feyen and Planning Technician Sherrie Vick share plan review duties.

Should additional help be needed, Henderson said the county would bring in contract help.

The county has been without a planning manager since late September, when Cindy Schultz departed.

Following Schultz’s departure, the county hired a planning manager in mid-January, James Shoopman, with Shoopman starting on Feb. 10.

Shoopman resigned from the post on Feb. 11, leaving the county to again search to fill the position.

At that point, the county opted for another finalist from the search that yielded Shoopman.

That person was Margaret Ambrosino, who accepted the position and was set to start in March.

However, before starting, Ambrosino declined the position.