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    Baird chosen to be county administrator; will replace Dillon

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    Doug McMurdo
    Doug McMurdo
    Editor Doug McMurdo reports on news out of the Moab City Center, tourism, courts, change of government and more.

    Chris Baird will move from the Clerk-Auditor’s office to become Grand County’s administrator following Ruth Dillon’s retirement in March.

    Baird was one of three finalists of the more than 30 who applied. He had this to say to residents:

    Chris baird
    Chris Baird

    Dear Citizens of Grand County,

    I’ve applied for and been awarded Grand County’s chief administrative/executive role as Grand County Council administrator. For over a decade I’ve been dedicated to the best interests of Grand County citizens and staff. I’m very excited and look forward to this expanded role. We face challenging times and I love a good challenge. – Chris Baird

    Baird said as he trains with Dillon until March, he will continue in his role as clerk-auditor until his replacement is appointed to serve in 2020. Because more than a year is left on his term, the clerk’s position will be on the 2020 ballot, as will the District 1 council seat Gabe Woytek was recently appointed to fill following Terry Morse’s mid-term resignation.

    Baird will likely retain his budget officer title as he transitions into the administrator role.

    The job will last at least until 2023, when – and if – voters approve a ballot question changing Grand County’s form of government.

    The study committee agreed on a manager-council form of government with council members legislating and the manager handling executive functions.

    Baird’s salary will be about $99,000. The hiring was announced after the Grand County Council came out of a lengthy closed executive session in which they discussed county personnel issues.

    Baird was joined by Zacharia Levine, the county’s director of Community and Economic Development, as one of three finalists. The third, an applicant from Oregon, withdrew on the eve of in-person interviews.

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