New Castle Pines city manager hits ground running

Wormer
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Don Van Wormer has arrived.

And there was applause, literally, at the Sept. 24 Castle Pines City Council meeting after the new city manager gave his first report.

“I think he's going to be a tremendous asset to our city,” Council Member James Einolf said later.

Van Wormer, who formerly served as Monte Vista's city manager, started as Castle Pines' city manager on Sept. 23. The next day, at the council meeting, he already had some major money things to talk about.

“It's been a rather hectic two days,” he said at one point.

He shared with council his tentative schedule for getting a proposed 2014 budget to council — which will happen soon.

Van Wormer said city staff plans to present a budget to council at the Oct. 8 meeting. He said the tentative date for a public hearing on it is Nov. 12, and a tentative date for final adoption is Dec. 10.

Van Wormer asked council members to help him get a better sense of the city's geography and people by having each of them give him tours in their wards. He also talked about his intent to meet with the various homeowners associations, the chamber of commerce and other groups to “introduce myself and see what's going on.”

He also asked to meet with the council as a whole at a work session to get input on their short-term goals and objectives for the remainder of year.

Mayor Jeffrey Huff told the audience that “Don joins us after an extensive search that city council went through to find the best qualified and most appropriate person to manage the city office.”

Van Wormer, who will be responsible for the day-to-day supervision and management of the city, expressed excitement in a past interview about living and working in Castle Pines.

“There's so much opportunity out there,” he said. He said the community, with all its open space, has the opportunity to create its own vision instead of trying to retrofit its vision like many communities that have existing downtowns to redevelop.

He has about 20 years of experience in the field: first as manager for Hinsdale County, then Kremmling's manager, and then Monte Vista's. He said if there's a pattern to what he's left behind, it's that, “I've always left the community in better shape than when I came.”

He said in Monte Vista, where he has been manager since 2004, the biggest issue was fiscal stability and with Kremmling it was infrastructure needs.

Castle Pines' last city manager, Ted Soltis, resigned Feb. 26, shortly after his six-month anniversary with the city, at which time he was to have undergone a performance review, according to his contract.

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