Woodland Park Assistant City Manager Steps Down

Rob Felts Described as WP’s “Swiss Army Knife”


Trevor Phipps

The Woodland Park City Council bid farewell last week to a key staff member in a rather grandiose good-bye ceremony.

The staff member, in fact, was credited for playing a vital role with the town’s administrative operations in the post-pandemic era, such as spearheading their Zoom communications system.   At last week’s session, it was announced that Assistant City Manager Rob Felts, the second-in-command for the city,  would be moving on from his position.

During his sendoff, tears fell as a number of city staffers took the floor to say goodbye to Felts who was described as the city’s “Swiss Army knife.” City Manager Michael Lawson started the presentation and he was then followed by City Clerk/Deputy City Manager Suzanne Leclercq and Communications & Marketing Coordinator Grace Johnson.

Felts started with the city in 2020 and he quickly became someone who assisted multiple departments. When the COVID-19 pandemic struck shortly after Felts started with the city, he was key in helping the city through the tough times, according to local officials.

One of Felts’ biggest accomplishments during his stint with the city was setting up the council meetings, so that people could participate online on Zoom. In fact, city officials said that Felts is the number one reason why people can still tune into the meetings online. This is still the way many in the community view council meetings.

Besides figuring out how to apply the new technology for the city of Woodland Park, it was reiterated that Felts could do just about anything. During the presentation, Leclercq and Lawson both used the term “Swiss Army knife” to describe him.

“You would be hard pressed to find anybody in any organization out there who has the heart of service this man does. He throws his whole self into it, it doesn’t matter what it is,” Lawson said. “We could tell Rob (Felts) that he needed to clean all of Fountain Creek all by himself, and he would do it. He would research and find the most efficient way to do it first because he has that expertise.”

The city manager also pointed out the many roles Felts played during his employment with the city, including policy work, running the cemetery, procurement, and fiber optics. At the end of his speech, Lawson presented Felts with a special coin to show the city’s appreciation.

Leclercq then took the floor and started her speech with reading definitions of a Swiss Army knife to help describe how valuable Felts was to the team. “I have yet to see a situation that Rob (Felts) cannot rectify, remedy or restore and he always did each with such kindness and compassion,” the city clerk said.

Johnson echoed similar sentiments and  cited Felts’ many pursuits when he is not at work. “When Rob (Felts) isn’t working long nights and long hours for the city, he still serving others,” the marketing coordinator said. “Not only is he working towards his masters’ in public administration, but he also volunteers on many weekends taking his Boy Scout troop into the mountains and teaching them life and survival skills. And if that’s not enough, Rob leads our ICMA’s veteran’s local government fellowship program mentoring veterans to make careers in other local governments.”

In response to these congratulatory comments,  Felts thanked the city for the chance to serve. “Just so you know me a little better first, I’m not an IT guy,” Felts explained. “I learned how to do all this by watching Google and that’s how I did it.”

He said that before he came to the city, he spent 26 years in the U.S. Army Special Forces. He then came to the city through the veteran’s fellowship program that he now helps out with as a mentor.

He also mentioned that Councilman David Ott was one of his interns in the program before he was elected to city council. At the end of the meeting, Ott used his report to thank Felts for his service to the city and to wished him well on his future endeavors.