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Cortez Conquistador Golf Course to hire superintendent

City creates position after foreman, greenskeeper quit
The third hole on Conquistador Golf Course. Both the course foreman and greenskeeper recently announced their resignations.

The Cortez Golf Advisory Board voted Wednesday to create a position to replace two outgoing Conquistador Golf Course employees.

Parks, Recreation and Forestry Director Dean Palmquist on Tuesday asked the City Council for permission to create the position, and council members expressed support. The advisory board has considered the change for several months, but Palmquist said it became more urgent in September after greenskeeper Russ Grover resigned. Foreman Wayne Becker announced earlier this year that he’d retire in January, after more than 30 years on the job.

Grover attended the advisory board meeting to give an update on the state of the course and to say his goodbyes.

“I just want to say thank you to all you guys,” he told the board. “It’s been a great experience, and hopefully everything works out for you guys.”

Becker spoke about his plans to finish projects at the course and set up a plan for training his replacement. He said he enjoyed his time over the past 34 years, and thanked board members for their support.

“This city’s treated me well, and I’m happy to have had a good job with the city,” he said.

Board members said the feeling was mutual.

“Your dedication to this place is unparalleled,” Ty Keel, the city council representative on the board, told Becker.

He said working for Becker when he was younger was “the best job (he) ever had.” Palmquist said he will host a retirement party at the course.

He said he had submitted a description of the golf superintendent job to the city’s human resources department, but hadn’t received feedback yet. Human resources director Gay Hall retired at the beginning of September, and the city’s new hire, Cortez Police Sgt. Matt Cashner, won’t start until Oct. 23.

Cashner has no prior experience with human resources, according to City Manager Shane Hale, so it will likely take him some time to train for the position.

Board member Sam Jarvis asked if that transition period might cause a delay in hiring a superintendent, but Palmquist said he didn’t think it would be a problem. He said he believes human resources assistant Debbie Speer has enough knowledge and experience for a smooth transition, and he expects to advertise the position soon.

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