Elizabeth hires town administrator

Patrick Davidson, originally from Wyoming, starts job Dec. 13

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The Town of Elizabeth has hired Patrick Davidson as its new town administrator, with a start date of Dec. 13.

The hire fills a post that was left vacant in January, when Billy Joe “BJ” Potts stepped down after less than three months on the job.

Davidson served as city administrator in Gillette, Wyoming, until an abrupt departure in February, according to the Gillette News Record. Before holding that position he was the Gillette city attorney, an Elizabeth press release states.

The press release says Davidson was raised on a family ranch outside Saratoga, Wyoming and got his law degree from the University of Wyoming. Davidson practiced law in Gillette before joining the city staff in 2014.

Davidson “firmly believes in giving back to his community and has been active in the Boy Scouts of America, the United Way of Campbell County, the Chamber of Commerce, the Main Street Program, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, and Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA),” the press release says, adding that he and his family enjoy “shooting trap, hiking, camping, and other outdoor pursuits.”

Davidson spoke with Colorado Community Media in a Nov. 17 Q&A:

What expertise do you bring to the community?

I have a lot of experience working with town growth and development. I know it’s a hot-button topic in the area right now. I have experience with both structured development and free-flowing unhinged development. I know how to manage a town amidst periods of development and help it succeed.

How do you plan to manage the growth of Elizabeth?

Development is driven by the needs and desires of the community. It’s also a tough balance. You have to strike a balance between maintaining the traditional historical feel of Elizabeth. You certainly don’t want to change that. But it’s necessary to recognizing there is going to be growth in the community.

When there’s explosive growth like this, I’ve seen towns totally redo their downtowns and make them really modern. When they do that, they take away the culture and the history. We want to keep the history alive and maintain the historic sense of Elizabeth. It is all too often that you see old towns that that are demolished to make way for new.

What are your initial plans when you first arrive in Elizabeth?

First, I have to go in and become a part of the community. What I envision for the first 60 days is getting to really know the community, find out what is going on with the current administration, be brought up to speed on current town projects, and get to know the Board of Trustees.

At some point after having been there for a few months, I plan to give the board an update as to where I see the community sitting as far as infrastructure, financial, etc. From there, I will work with the board and other town leaders to develop a plan moving forward.

Are you looking forward to moving to Colorado? To Elizabeth?

It’s going to be much nicer weather down there than up here in Gillette, Wyoming!

Elizabeth is also a really neat town. They’ve done an excellent job of keeping traditional aspects of the community and offering additional shopping people in the area. Very unique for a community. I grew up in a very small town in Wyoming. Returning to a small town is something that my wife and I have really looked forward to for a long time.

We’re also looking forward to moving to Colorado to be closer to family. We have family in Centennial, Colorado Springs and Aurora, so we will be in the middle of everything.

Is there anything else you want to the residents of Elizabeth to know about you or your plans for the town?

In a general sense, I want people to know that I am not coming to make broad-based change in the community. It is going to be my home. I am not going with the intention of popping in there for a year or two and then leaving. This is a long-term placement for me. I want to visit stores and local business, get to know the people, and really understand their needs. I want to be involved with the Boy Scouts, and other community organizations, not just be an administrator.

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