Republican Gerald Koppenhafer, of Mancos, was sworn in as Montezuma County Commissioner for District 3 by Chief Judge Doug Walker on Feb. 1.
Koppenhafer was appointed by the Montezuma County Republican Central Committee to replace Commissioner Joel Stevenson, who died Jan. 18 of a COVID-related illness.
U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert, (R-Colorado) gave a tribute to Stevenson on the House floor Feb. 9. It can be viewed on the county Facebook page.
The District 3 seat of the county commission represents the Mancos area.
Koppenhafer will serve until the general election in November, when the seat goes up for election. The winner serves out the remainder of Stevenson’s term until 2024.
As commissioner, Koppenhafer will serve as chairperson of deeds. He was appointed by the commission to represent the county and attend the meetings of Region 9 Economic Development, Area Agency on Aging, Southwest Workforce Board, Ute Mountain Ute Tribal Council, Lower Dolores River Group, Club 20, Native Fish Monitoring and Recommendation Team, Town of Mancos, and Colorado Counties Inc.
Koppenhafer, a veterinarian and president of Montezuma Valley Irrigation Co., previously served two terms as Montezuma County commissioner.
Montezuma County Administrator Shak Powers was named Region 9 Economic Development Leader of the Year by the Region 9 Economic Development District board of directors.
“Every year, Region 9 honors a southwest Colorado resident that goes beyond their paid position and makes a significant positive impact in the field of economic development,” according to a news release.
Powers was honored for creating an economic development team among county staff to work on economic development priorities such as housing, business support and attraction and infrastructure development.
“Shak has worked closely with Region 9 during the development of Disaster Assistance loans and grants for businesses during COVID,” said Laura Lewis Marchino, executive director of Region 9. “He has a very collaborative approach and includes representatives of the surrounding municipalities, understanding the concept “that a rising tide lifts all boats.”