Monte Vista Council welcomes new City Manager; celebrates MVHS Pirates Band

Photos by Marie Mccolm Monte Vista City Council welcomes Gigi Dennis-Lounsbury as the new City Manager and proclaims Dec. 2, as a day to recognize the Monte Vista High School Marching Band’s accomplishments.

MONTE VISTA — City Council held a meeting on Dec. 2, the first for new City Manager Gigi Dennis-Lounsbury.

She was formally introduced by Mayor Dale Becker.  Dennis-Lounsbury accepted a gift from the City Council before speaking. Her first day was Nov. 29.

Dennis-Lounsbury fills the role vacated by Forrest Neuerburg who took a city manager position in Oregon in the summer. Monte Vista Police Department Chief George Dingfelder served as the interim City Manager.

“This past week I have met with most of the City staff, and everyone has been really helpful,” Dennis-Lounsbury said. “I am slowly getting introduced to more employees, and it all has been very positive.”

Dennis-Lounsbury added that she had taken most of her morning to drive all over Monte Vista with Public Works Director Rob Vance and look over many of the City’s assets and at areas that need improvement. She also mentioned speaking with City Finance Director Anita Kinsey and City Clerk Unita Vance.

“I don’t like the word challenges,” Dennis-Lounsbury said with a smile. “I like the word opportunities, and what I see here in our city is many opportunities for us.”

Dennis-Lounsbury said she planned to visit businesses in Monte Vista. She said she would be spending every Friday for the next three to four months visiting various businesses and introducing herself.

Dennis-Lounsbury concluded by saying that she was looking forward to working with everyone.

At the same meeting, Mayor Becker also proclaimed Dec. 2, as the day to recognize and honor the Monte Vista High School Marching Band students, faculty, and boosters on winning the 1A State Championship in Pueblo with a record-breaking score on Nov. 1.

MVHS Band Director Jason Paschall accepted the proclamation, thanked the Council and said he was proud of the kids.

Mayor Pro-Tem Victor Sigala announced that the Proud Military Parents group sent the Council a thank you card for the City’s financial contribution to their group. The card stated the parents were able to send 30 care packages to military children, thanks to the generous contribution from the City.

Finance Director Kinsey also spoke at the meeting, regarding a resolution to adopt the annual budget, for the final certification and evaluation that had been made by the Rio Grande County Assessor. The resolution was passed unanimously. 

City Attorney Michael Trujillo also spoke at the meeting regarding the sale of the Gulzow Building at a public hearing in November. Trujillo said he felt the process of the sale and the public hearing was a good learning experience for everyone.

Trujillo also spoke about a piece of land that the City has received a decree upon, stating “The property that the city would be able to either use or sell, is a little over an acre in size and is located just west of the Ski Hi Park building.”

Trujillo said his biggest recommendation for the land would be to hold an immediate public hearing if Council members decided to sell the property rather than use it, so that residents would be made aware of the sale of the property.

The next City Council meeting is scheduled for Dec. 16.

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