The city’s former deputy chief of staff Bret Waters has been hired as El Paso County administrator. He will replace Amy Folsom, who is retiring.
Waters, who served the city under Chief of Staff Jeff Greene, himself a former county administrator, starts his new job on July 12. Folsom's last day is sometime in August, allowing for a "smooth and orderly transition," the county said in a news release.
The administrator slot is one of two direct appointees who report to the Board of County Commissioners, the other being county attorney.
“As an organization, we value our residents, integrity, and doing the right thing,” Board Chair Stan VanderWerf said in a release. “Bret perfectly reflects our values. I’m thrilled he will lead our organization, carry out our vision as commissioners, and solve complex issues facing our community. He has been in the trenches with us during times of crisis, like the COVID pandemic and wildfires that have threatened our region."
Waters said in the release he applied for the job because he admires the county's culture, leadership and commitment to serving the community.
Prior to being promoted to deputy chief of staff at the city in 2014, Waters served as emergency management director and managed operations during the 2012 Waldo Canyon Fire, which destroyed 347 homes and killed two people after then-Mayor Steve Bach neglected to order an evacuation of Mountain Shadows until fire poured over the hills into the city. When John Suthers was elected mayor in 2015, he stayed on as deputy chief of staff.
Waters helped the city partner with the county to create the Pikes Peak Regional Office of Emergency Management.
VanderWerf said Waters was chosen after a "rigorous" selection process that produced an undisclosed number of applicants who were interviewed.
The county refused to disclose Waters' salary, saying his contract has not yet been approved but is expected to appear on an upcoming agenda.
Folsom is paid $213,685 a year.