What does a county administrator do all day?

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RBC I This is the first in a series of articles intended to inform you about Rio Blanco County government and issues important to the county. On several occasions I have been asked, “What are the responsibilities of a county administrator?” I hope the following paragraphs explain the purpose of a county administrator and the county commissioners’ priorities for this position.Historically, most counties were governed by commissioners and boards, which functioned effectively when county government was limited in scope and complexity. With the expansion of responsibilities of counties, however, the policy-making demands of governing bodies have greatly increased. By employing a professional administrator, county elected officials can focus on the policy issues that will guide the future of the county. Commissioners can provide leadership, develop a vision for the community, determine what services to provide to the citizens, lobby the state legislature on the community’s behalf and communicate and forge new relationships with constituents.Not unlike towns that have town managers or schools that have superintendents, counties also have the need for someone to assist the commissioners in managing day-to-day operations, so they may spend more time setting public policy and direction for county programs and services. Rio Blanco County Commissioners value the importance of improving service delivery, increasing organizational efficiency and improving productivity for the taxpayer’s investment while providing quality customer service.As populations change, economic bases shift and infrastructure ages, emphasis on the environment and quality of life have increased along with the demand for services. In an effort to stay ahead of these changes, county administrators not only implement the policies and budget established by the county commissioners, they reshape internal and external relationships.The role of a county administrator is to work in partnership with elected officials and staff to develop sound approaches to community challenges by bringing together resources to produce results that matter most to the community. Administrators encourage inclusion and build consensus among diverse interests by focusing on the entire community rather than the centralized interests of just a few. Administrators work to align the county’s administrative systems with the values, mission and policy goals defined by the community and elected officials to ensure the daily process of government is smooth and consistent.Rio Blanco County employees are committed to working together for the benefit of our citizens to improve customer service while solving problems and meeting our statutory obligations. I am excited to return to Rio Blanco County as the county administrator and I am excited to work closely with all of you and the entire county staff to ensure that Rio Blanco County continues to be a great place to live, work and play.

By Kimberly Bullen, RBC Administrator