La Plata County Manager Shawn Nau abruptly resigned Wednesday, saying in his resignation letter it was best for the county and his family for him to leave.
His resignation will take effect Aug. 1.
Assistant County Manager Joanne Spina will serve as the interim county manager until Nau’s position is permanently filled.
“We are grateful for the three years of service that Shawn has provided to La Plata County, and we appreciate the contributions he has made to our organization and our community,” said Kellie Hotter, county commission chairwoman.
During his tenure, Nau created a results-based management format for evaluating county departments and services and strategic departmental business plans. He also helped form the Economic Development Alliance and the Southwest Colorado Council of Governments group. And he led the county through substantial budget reductions brought on by the recession while negotiating to bring a federal court presence to the area.
Commissioners Bobby Lieb and Wally White did not return calls Wednesday evening.
Hotter said, “We wish him well in his future endeavors.” But she declined to offer additional information about the situation or events leading to Nau’s resignation in a telephone interview.
Nau said in his resignation letter dated today that he and his family have come to love the La Plata County community, but “in light of my family’s health considerations and the opportunity to pursue new professional challenges, I believe that it is (in) the mutual, long-term best interest of the organization, my family, and myself that I submit my resignation.”
In a telephone interview Wednesday night, Nau declined to elaborate further about his reasons for leaving other than to say family health issues played a role in the decision, and it was a difficult decision.
He said “a couple” potential opportunities for employment arose during his tenure with the county, but “nothing I feel comfortable disclosing.”
Nau recently bought a home in the area after trying for three years to sell his home in Arizona, where he worked as a general services director for Maricopa County before accepting the top leadership post in La Plata County. Nau said he leased out the Arizona home before buying a house locally.
It’s unclear whether the family will stay in the area.
“My tenure with La Plata County has presented me with an exceptionally rewarding and challenging set of opportunities,” Nau’s resignation letter said. “I have learned a great deal from my experiences and will always cherish my time here.”