The Southwestern Water Conservation District’s newly hired executive director was fired recently for not meeting job performance expectations, said the district’s board president, Bob Wolff.
For more than a decade, the district was headed by Bruce Whitehead. But in March 2019, Whitehead announced his retirement.
In September 2019, the district hired Frank Kugel, who at the time had been serving as general manager of the Upper Gunnison River Water Conservancy District for almost 13 years.
Kugel, a registered engineer with a civil engineering degree from the University of Colorado-Denver, was involved in construction engineering in the Denver area before joining the Colorado Division of Water Resources as a dam safety engineer.
Kugel also served in the Denver and Durango offices of the Division of Water Resources before moving to Montrose where he became Division 4 engineer for the Gunnison, San Miguel and Lower Dolores River basins.
Wolff declined to comment about Kugel’s firing, saying it is a personnel matter.
“Frank had a lot of great qualities, but some of his performance didn’t meet the board’s expectation,” Wolff said.
Efforts to reach Kugel for comment Thursday were unsuccessful.
Wolff said it is likely the district will rehire the position as a “general manager” instead of an executive director. He said the district board in August will meet to talk specifics about rehiring the position.
“Then we’ll adopt a timeline,” he said.
The Southwestern Water Conservation District was created by the state of Colorado in 1941 to conserve and develop water resources in nine counties: Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma, San Juan, San Miguel and parts of Hinsdale, Mineral and Montrose.