Former school board president Monson appointed to county commission

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By Ian Neligh

Former school board president Peter Monson was appointed March 9 by the governor to fill the late Tom Hayden’s county commission seat.

“It was quite an honor, and I hope to do the job to the best of my abilities,” Monson said, adding that he doesn’t plan to run for the seat in November’s election.

Hayden died unexpectedly Feb. 29; his term on the commission was to expire this year. Only unaffiliated residents of District 2 were eligible for the appointment.

“Obviously I was, as many people were, somewhat devastated when Tom passed away so suddenly and unexpectedly,” Monson said. “He was a good friend of mine and somebody I respected and (had) known for many years throughout my time with the school and the school board.”

Monson said Hayden always had the interests of the county at heart “more so than political affiliation.”

“(Hayden) was interested in making the county better, and that’s something that I always have been interested in as well — whether that’s in the education arena or otherwise,” Monson said.

He said some local leaders approached him to apply for the position. Monson said that after much debate he decided he would serve in the District 2 seat only until the end of Hayden’s term this year.

“It was something that I felt like I could devote 100 percent of my energy to for a short time,” Monson said. “I know that the issues facing the county are quite challenging right now, with the Henderson (Mine) situation and everything else that the county has to deal with.”

Monson worked for the U.S. Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division for more than 30 years, serving as a managing attorney, assistant chief and senior trial attorney. Monson served on the Clear Creek school board from 2009 to 2012.

Monson earned his undergraduate degree from Williams College in Massachusetts and his law degree from Lewis & Clark School of Law in Portland, Ore.

Gov. John Hickenlooper chose Monson from among several applicants. He was sworn in Tuesday.

Contact Ian Neligh at courant

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