In an effort to have more influence over state laws and regulations, El Paso County has named Communications Director Ryan Parsell as legislative and government affairs executive director, a new position.
Parsell, a former deputy state treasurer from March 2017 to September 2018, has served as the county's communications director for about three years. Before his state gig, he worked as the El Paso County Clerk and Recorder's Office's public information officer and chief deputy from 2013 to 2017.
"Some of the highlights of my new job description include monitoring federal, state, and regulatory activities and communicate the organization’s position on the same," he tells the Indy via email. "I’ll spearhead proactive legislative or rule changes ... which would help our organization better serve our citizens. My existing team has handled elements of all of the above, and it’s exciting that the legislative front will get the attention other large counties have devoted to it."
He notes that recent changes in criminal justice and employment laws "have greatly impacted our services," but didn't elaborate.
"I’ll also be the county’s point-person on contact with intergovernmental associations, policy makers, and applicable committees," he said.
The county has posted the communications director job, which includes duties of developing internal and external communications strategies, providing information to the news media and managing Colorado Open Records Act requests.
County Administrator Bret Waters said in a statement, “Ryan Parsell has many unique talents; he’s had experience in public information as well as legislative and government relations. As a former deputy state treasurer, Parsell also has experience in the state capitol that no one else on our staff has. So I made a decision to more fully utilize his background and bring on a communications manager to carry on with our communications needs.”
Parsell will assume his new job at the same annual salary he now receives of $127,000. No word yet on his replacement.