Montrose, COLO.— Colorado Counties Inc., and the Association of City and County Managers awarded Montrose County Manager Jon Waschbusch the County Manager of the Year award last night at the annual awards banquet.
“The success we have at Montrose County is due to the hard work and talent of our employees. My thanks goes to each of them, our Board and the very special community that we serve,” said Waschbusch.
“On behalf of the Board of County Commissioners, we could not be more pleased with this award,” said Commissioner Sue Hansen. “Jon is an incredibly talented manager who excels at strategic initiatives, project management, long-range planning, and operational efficiency. His 17 years of public service as a county employee provide him a multi-departmental understanding that is invaluable. His leadership has been an asset to the county and has contributed to the strong financial position that we are in today.”
Some of Mr. Waschbusch’s major accomplishments cited in the nomination include the 2022 comprehensive compensation plan, which provided state and regional data used to update salary schedules. These changes were implemented concurrent with a new countywide compensation policy geared towards continuing the focus on recruitment and retention. This is the first time this project has been accomplished at this level, and Mr. Waschbusch’s relationships across the region were critical in the completion of this project.
Moreover, Mr. Waschbusch worked to improve overall communications, with internal and external town hall meetings to provide increased engagement with county leadership. These meetings will continue in 2023. He also directed staff to organized an employee appreciation event in 2023 to recognize the employees for their service to the community.
When it comes to operational efficiency, Mr. Waschbusch initiated perhaps one of the biggest changes yet—a digital, fully-integrated payroll and human resources management system. This system reduced the reliance on paper forms while streamlining payroll and HR processes. Additionally, he worked with the planning and development department to transition to an online permitting and payment system for the convenience of the public. Another key public facing improvement is the addition of the “report a concern” system on the front page of the website. Residents can use this feature to report an issue with a county road and Mr. Waschbusch has worked with staff to assure prompt responses. This feature has been growing in popularity and helps the county staff keep an eye on the nearly 1,400 miles of maintained county roads.
In addition to his commitment to the employees, Mr. Waschbusch has worked to expand private contracting opportunities across departments including at the event center, public health, road and bridge, facilities and the airport. These contracts have improved services, saved taxpayer dollars and created additional opportunities for private business.
Mr. Waschbusch’s leadership is setting the county up for success in the future. There are currently six major capital projects in progress from design/site plan to construction. These projects range in expanse from a few hundred thousand to over $40 million dollars for an airport expansion and renovation. These projects are moving forward steadily through his initiative and long-term planning. Mr. Waschbusch and the financial team continue to model for the future and make sure that the county is saving and preparing for these projects and can afford them with minimal debt service
Mr. Waschbusch has worked at the county since 2005. He provides oversight and leadership to 15 directors without the assistance of a deputy county manager. The board appointed him Montrose County Manager in July of 2021 following a tenure as Deputy County Manager. In addition to regular county work, Mr. Waschbusch currently serves on the Region 10 Board of Directors and Montrose Economic Development Corporation Board, and was previously the Chairman of the Board of Directors for NuVista Federal Credit Union.