Former trustees’ community service lauded

By Rudy Hemmann
The Surveyor

The four departing members of the Berthoud Board of Trustees – Suzie White, Jan Dowker, Dick Shepard and Paul Alaback– were recognized for their years of service to the community by Mayor David Gregg during the board meeting of April 12.

Prior to the swearing in of the new board members Gregg addressed each of the outgoing trustees in turn.

Gregg made a brief apology for not having prepared statements regarding the outgoing members, but dealing with the ramifications of the resignation of mayor-elect Pete Cowdin took precedence.

“I come somewhat unprepared,” said Gregg, “But I am at peace with that, knowing that what I’m about to say comes from the heart and not from prepared notes.”

Gregg continued, “The thing that struck me as I thought through what I could say about this board is the genuinely unique areas of interest and expertise that we all individually fill to the benefit of this board.”

He began with Trustee Paul Alaback by stating he appreciated Alaback’s “breadth and depth of knowledge and passion for all things outdoors,” from regional trails, to parklands, to open space opportunities. Gregg stated the information brought to the board by Alaback, both from his personal experience and also from his deep involvement in regional outdoor issues, was of great benefit to the board.

With respect to Mayor Pro-tem Jan Dowker, Gregg had high praise for her support for regional transportation issues and for being an able representative of the Berthoud on the North Front Range Metropolitan Planning Organization (NFRMPO) Planning Council. He noted Dowker’s role in securing funding for the Larimer County Road 17 improvements as well as the Interstate 25 climb lane. “Because of my professional commitments and job requirements I was unable to fulfill the role of being Berthoud’s representative on the NFRMPO,” stated Gregg, “Jan stepped in and filled the role in a way that, even if I had the time, I could not have touched.”

Turning to Shepard, Gregg acknowledged his staunch support of town events and involvement with the Berthoud Area Chamber of Commerce. “You have been the one who brought community activities to our attention and encouraged our participation in them,” said Gregg.

“Nobody embodies a passion for this town and a desire to see it thrive and succeed more than you,” continued Gregg.

In referring to White, Gregg stated she was a “Hawk for accounting practices.” Gregg said, “I always felt confident coming into a meeting, during which staff would be making a (financial) presentation, that Suzie would have been through it, picked out any inconsistencies, and brought them to our attention. Equally as important in his eyes was White being a champion for the children of the community. “Suzie brought to this board a desire that the children of Berthoud are always thought of in every decision that was made,” said Gregg.

He also had kind words for the two members who would be remaining with the board, Jennifer Baker and Chris Buckridge. He thanked Baker for her thoughtful questions and participation in discussions regarding development proposals during which she drew on her experience as a landscape architect, and for her willingness to step into Dowker’s position on the NFRMPO board.

He also thanked Buckridge for being the champion on the board for the Historic Preservation Committee. Gregg also stated that he appreciated Buckridge’s clear, concise and to-the-point communication style.

Also recognized by Gregg was the support given to the board by town staff and especially by Town Administrator Mike Hart. He stated Hart is a tireless advocate tor Berthoud, and through his efforts made the jobs of the trustees look easy.

Buckridge formally recognized the outgoing trustees and presented each with a plaque to commemorate their time on the board.