County administrator Robbie LeValley has finally been able to fill a position approved in the 2018 county budget, slotted in the administrative services budget.
LeValley said, "When the county commissioners and administrative staff were working on the 2018 budget last year, the commissioners knew that we needed help in areas all across the county.
"We talked about the needs for assistance for the administrative staff, marketing expertise centralized around the fairgrounds, and someone with public information experience," she said.
Human resources administrator Bill Bever helped LeValley and the commissioners corral the functions for this new position -- if not a concise, workable job title.
And they found the person to fill the position: Darnell Place-Wise, who began her duties on Monday, Nov. 5.
Her duties include fairgrounds marketing officer where she expects to schedule concerts, movie nights, disc golf tournaments, horseshoe games, and increase the rental activity at Heritage Hall. With the Army Corps of Engineers-approved boat ramp in place, Place-Wise will market rafting, paddle boat rides, kayaking and personal floating trips.
She will work with Nature Connection "getting kids off machines and outside."
LeValley anticipates that Darnell will spend a lot of her time in marketing the fairgrounds from March through September, although she will work year-round to make the public aware of what's available at the fairgrounds.
Place-Wise will provide public information officer services for all departments of the county. LeValley said there are so many good things happening in the county and Darnell will help get that information out to the public.
Place-Wise will also serve as executive assistant to the county commissioners and the county administrator.
LeValley said the amount of time Darnell gives to each of her responsibilities will ebb and flow; some months it may be an 80/20 situation. It will be based on need within the county.
Many Delta residents will associate Darnell Place-Wise as the former executive director of the Delta Area Chamber of Commerce.
When she was in high school she worked for three months in the Delta county assessor's office, when Donna Ferganchick was assessor.
Place-Wise was sales manager for a radio station for seven years, and worked 10 years in Durango for a firm that specialized in professional development, business development, acumen leadership and executive coaching.
LeValley said, "We are glad Darnell is part of our team and look forward to all the possibilities that will be accomplished with her help."
Place-Wise responded, "I look forward to being able to contribute to the county in the way I was able to contribute to Delta when I was at the chamber of commerce, and to cast a larger net."