New Monticello City Manager begins his tenure July 20
by Rhett Sifford
Evan Bolt has accepted the position of Monticello City Manager and begins work on Monday, July 20. Bolt, who most recently worked as Assistant City Manager of Paonia, CO, brings a new perspective backed by experience in small-town government that will benefit the City of Monticello.
He earned a Masters of Public Administration from Wichita State University in 2018 and also has a Bachelor’s of Art in Political Science from Washburn University. In addition to his position in Paonia, Bolt was a Senior Accountant in Gunnison County, CO before coming to Monticello.
Bolt rose to the top of a group of 17 applicants Monticello City evaluated in recent weeks after outgoing city manager Doug Wright tendered his resignation in April. A hiring committee narrowed the group of prospective city managers down to five interviewees before choosing Bolt.
Wright said Bolt was chosen because “his experience and training is in line with what the city was looking for. He has worked in small towns and gotten similar experience to what he’ll see here.”
Bolt places a large emphasis on hearing what Monticello residents have to say and carrying through with their voice. Though COVID-19 restrictions will provide a challenge, his first priority is to “reach out to the citizenry and get to know them.”
Bolt said he will work from the start to build trust with the residents of Monticello, which will make some challenges easier to deal with.
He pointed out that every city must obviously deal with challenges. “But I see a lot more opportunities for Monticello. It’s just looking at those [challenges] and making informed decisions.
“For me, the biggest thing is public input,” Bolt explained. “I’m not looking to come in as an outsider and shake things up. I want to make sure everything I do is consistent with the public interest.
One immediate challenge for Bolt will be gleaning as much knowledge as possible from Monticello Recorder Cindi Holyoak before she departs to take over as San Juan County Recorder in 2021. Another is getting the city’s sanitation trucks back up and running.
Outgoing Monticello City Manager Doug Wright will help get Bolt “up to speed” in his first few days, and Wright will be available to assist Bolt as needed for a short time after he takes over.
Wright said an “outsider’s perspective” and a new direction will be good for Monticello. One part of that direction will be helping the city tap into a readily-available resource.
During his hiring process, Bolt said the Monticello City Council emphasized a need for a “downtown corridor.” He stated, “I think a lot of people driving through see Monticello as a ‘highway town.’
“With COVID-19, it’s a perfect time to take a step back and look at…the possibilities…of a downtown corridor that’s attractive not only to residents but passers by – to cause them to want to stop and spend their money, so that we can capture some sales tax revenue.”
Bolt explained that he has a strong background in grant writing that could help Monticello obtain technical assistance in projects such as this.
Though Bolt grew up in Chanute, KS, he is no stranger to Southeast Utah, which he has visited many times with family. Bolt, his girlfriend Luna Archey, and their dog enjoy the outdoors and are looking forward to exploring San Juan County in depth.
Bolt is excited to get started in Monticello. “I want to get in there, learn everything I can, and acclimate myself to the work environment,” he stated. He’s looking forward to meeting people at the upcoming Pioneer Day celebration.
The first official opportunity for Monticello residents to meet their new city manager is at the July 28 city council meeting at 7 p.m. at the Hideout Community Center.