Endlessly a #ColoradoPublicServant. Every Day.
Women in Leadership
Finding Solutions for Colorado. Our Colorado
I wholeheartedly support those who ensure our public safety:
Emergency Medical Personnel
Law Enforcement Officers
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First and foremost, I’m a ranchwife and mother. My husband, Gary, operates a family cattle ranch with his twin brother outside of McCoy in southern Routt County where we raised our two daughters Abbey and Izabel. The Raymond Horn Ranch has been in the family since 1964, running close to 500 cow/calf pairs in the high country. Our daughters grew up on the ranch raising 4-H sheep and steers and running their successful soap business, Bubble Creek Soap. I’m a first responder and the fire chief for the Rock Creek Volunteer Fire Department. And, I’m proud to serve as former Treasurer of Routt County.
In 2016, I faced a difficult decision as Treasurer of Routt County. The largest employer and largest property taxpayer in the county filed for bankruptcy in April. With any bankrupt company, there is always a question of whether creditors like Routt County would receive the property tax payment. I was not surprised when the company was late on its tax payment, but I was disappointed to see that the check was light – this company chose not to pay more than $91,000 in penalties and interest, but wanted me to accept the check as payment in full. To be clear, Colorado law does not allow County Treasurers to waive penalty and interest. Some in my community suggested that I just look the other way, accept the smaller check, and move forward. I could not in good conscience cut a break to a multi-national company when I could not do that for a single mother struggling to get current on her taxes. I sent the check back, and we proceeded to reach an agreement. Real leadership means that we have to take heat for our decisions sometimes. Personally, I didn't enter politics to make friends - I did it to make a difference.
Serving as Treasurer, I knew firsthand the importance of protecting the hard earned dollars of taxpayers. One of my first projects as Treasurer was to establish a brand new Standard Operating Manual for the Treasurer’s Office. I added many new checks and balances, and provided cross training for all duties and responsibilities in the office. Once those procedures were in place, I used my experience as a cost controller and cost analyst to increase efficiencies swiftly so we could get the Treasurer’s Office back on track. We worked daily with other county departments to ensure that they are following the checks and balance we’ve put in place.
My determination to serve others runs deep in my soul. It's how I was raised. Be grateful for what you have and give back more. While living in Washington D.C., I served those less fortunate at soup kitchens each night after work. It was there that my passion to serve others was ignited. I am energized by serving others, and I will continue to work hard and fight for our state and our communities.
My passion for service has propelled me to several positions of service and leadership in my community:
Treasurer, Colorado State Fire Chiefs 2018-Current
Volunteer Fire Chief, Rock Creek Volunteer Fire Department McCoy Colorado 2008–Current
Emergency Medical Technician, Eagle County Paramedics Vail Colorado 2002- 2014
Firefighter/Engineer/Emergency Medical Technician, Gypsum Fire Protection District Colorado 2007-2011
Firefighter/Emergency Medical Technician, Greater Fire Protection District Colorado 2003-2007
Substitute Teacher, SOROCO School District, Oak Creek, Colorado 2006-2014
Adjunct Instructor, Colorado Mountain College & ASHI Colorado 2003-Current
Delegate, National Convention 2016
President, Routt County Women 2012
Vice Chair and Precinct Chair, Routt County 2010-Current
Commissioner, South Routt Planning Commission 2010-2012
Chair Volunteer Section, Colorado Fire Chiefs Association 2011-Current
Member & Past President, Routt County Cattle Women 1999-Current
Volunteer Grant Writer, SOROCO Booster Club 2009-2015
Volunteer Leader, High Valley 4-H 1999-2015
I have worked in the finance world since the 1980s. After graduating from St. John Fisher College in Rochester, NY, I served in both finance management and accounting, working for Westin hotels in Washington D.C. and Vail, Hyatt Beaver Creek, and Pepi's Hotel Gasthof Gramshammer & Restaurant in Vail Village. Additionally, I have also served as treasurer for the Routt County Fair Board and treasurer of the Yampa Valley Heritage Foundation. From 2012-2018, I have proudly served as the elected Treasurer of Routt County.
What is your Mission Statement as a public servant?
“Taking good care of Mrs Smith!"
Whenever a taxpayer came into the office with a concern, we treated them with the utmost integrity and respect. Customer service and treating people well is a learned art, and not some set of instructions you read in a book! My staff and myself held ourselves to a very high standard and the direct feedback from our taxpayer clients reflected that.
What do you do in your spare time?
I have served my community as a Fire Chief and First Responder for 17 years now. I am honored to care for my neighbors and community in their darkest hours with the expert skills and the compassion they need to truly help them through the toughest of circumstances.
As an elected official serving as a treasurer for six years, I have witnessed first hand the issues Coloradans need to solve. Let’s do right as Colorado citizens by making sure that we can find better ways for government to do more with less, and to increase transparency so that we the people can be sure that our dollars and way of life are going to be safe.
With seventeen years, and counting, of serving the community on emergency calls under my belt, I understand the demands of serving others. The success of public safety is both a commitment and collaboration between the responders and the community. I will continue to serve and continue to bring the two groups together for Colorado.
Whether its private property, mineral rights or our public lands, they are all important to Colorado. Our Colorado. Let's keep working towards a community that recognizes a safe, secure economy and environment for where we call home.