REPLACING Gigi Dennis as the Alamosa County administrator will be one the hotter topics of discussion over the next few months. Dennis’ last day with Alamosa County is Nov. 10, and then she turns her attention to being the city manager of Monte Vista.
“It will take a special person to replace Gigi,” said Mike Yohn, chair of the Alamosa County Board of Commission. “She has done a super job for Alamosa County.”
Yohn said the Alamosa County commissioners will discuss how to proceed in replacing Dennis at the Board of Commission meeting on Oct. 13. She has served as county administrator the past six years.
“She’s been a great asset and a tremendous person for the county. It’ll be a loss for sure,” said Yohn. “Everyone is replaceable. It’s not going to be an easy position to fill.”
Dennis tackled major projects for Alamosa County, starting with building a new Alamosa County Justice Center, renovating and adding on to the Alamosa County Detention Center, and improving air service at the Alamosa Regional Airport.
“Those are probably the biggest and have the biggest price tags attached to them,” Dennis said when recalling her six years at Alamosa County. “But another project I’m proud of, and this was a grassroots project with the water community, was getting the weather radar set up. We got Doppler.”
She’s referring to the new Doppler weather radar at Alamosa Regional Airport which is now tied to the National Weather Service-Pueblo short-term forecasting for the San Luis Valley.
The city manager position in Monte Vista offers Dennis a homecoming of sorts. She moved to Monte Vista her freshman year of high school in the late 1970s when her father took a position with then-12th Judicial District Attorney Gene Farish. She carved out her own successful career in public life as a state senator, state director of USDA rural development, and Colorado secretary of state. Prior to joining Alamosa County she worked as senior manager for external affairs at Tri-State Generation & Transmission.
“It’s comfortable,” she said of the move to Monte Vista and Rio Grande County, where she and her husband, Mark, reside. “When you reflect back on my career, everything still connected me to the San Luis Valley.
“State senator, rural development, secretary of state for a short stint, even Tri-State. Everything kept tying me back here. So I have strong relationships with longtime friends that have made it really comfortable to be here.”
She starts in the Monte Vista city manager role on Nov. 29. But in true Gigi Dennis fashion, she was planning to be at Monday night’s Monte Vista City Council work session on the 2022 budget.