A major shakeup could be coming to La Plata County government.
On Tuesday, La Plata County spokeswoman Megan Graham confirmed that county Planning Director Damian Peduto is leaving at the end of the month to take a job as the community development director for Eagle County.
And County Manager Joe Kerby is considering a job offer in Oregon.
Graham said Peduto’s last day with the county is May 30.
“Damien’s tenure with the county has produced some significant results that are going to stay with the county for a long time,” said Graham, referencing the revisions to the comprehensive plan and land-use code.
He took the helm as planning director for La Plata County in 2012. His current salary is $100,233.
Eagle County Manager Bryan Treu said Peduto’s new position will pay $123,000 a year. Out of 42 applicants, Treu said Peduto rose to the top.
“Obviously, he has a good understanding of resort areas,” he said. “And he’s got that Western Slope mentality that I think will be a good fit for us.”
Treu said Eagle County is experiencing many of the same issues Peduto addressed in La Plata County, such as consistency with planning applications and land-use regulations.
Peduto said he and his family have been looking for a place to move that aligns with their interests, as well as their career goals. His wife, Valorie, is the finance director of United Way-Southwest Colorado.
“This really is the perfect balance for my family and I,” Peduto said of Eagle County. “We’re leaving behind good tracks, my wife and I. I’m thankful for the opportunity I had here working with so many wonderful people.”
La Plata County could also lose Kerby, as the Benton County Board of Commissioners in Oregon voted unanimously last week to offer him the county manager position, for which nearly 50 people applied.
“We had a really strong pool of candidates, and Mr. Kerby clearly rose to the top,” said Benton County Counsel Vance Croney, according to a May 2 report in the Corvallis Gazette-Times.
The Gazette-Times reported that Kerby attended an April 27 public reception, where he told the paper he was interested in relocating for “quality of life reasons.”
“Location, location, location,” Kerby told The Gazette-Times. “I have always enjoyed visiting Oregon.”
Kerby on Tuesday reiterated similar sentiments, adding that he has not officially resigned from his post in La Plata County, nor has he come to a decision on whether to take the job in Oregon.
“I hope we can bring this to a conclusion one way or another in the next couple of days,” he said.
Kerby said he has vacationed at least 15 times or so in the Oregon-Washington area, and he has long regarded the area as a place he’d like to live.
“La Plata County ranks at the top of places to live, and I think that area of Oregon is also competitive as it related to lifestyle for sure,” he said.
According to The Gazette-Times, the salary range for the position is $107,592 to $172,144 a year. His salary in La Plata County is $167,627, not including benefits.
Kerby has served as county manager since 2012. He has also held other local government jobs throughout Colorado.