County Manager Harry Burgess
By KIRSTEN LASKEY
Los Alamos Daily Post
After 10 years of service, Los Alamos County Manager Harry Burgess participated in his final County Council meeting Tuesday night.
Burgess’ last day at the office is Friday; he is retiring.
“I just want to say thank you to each of the councilors, current and past that I’ve worked with,” Burgess said. “It’s been an amazing adventure … thinking back on my time here in Los Alamos I think it is important to note that this was my longest tenure of any position I’ve held in my career; I think that for me it reflects my appreciation for the community and the type of work we do here. It has been enjoyable despite all the stress …”
Burgess added he appreciates not only the County staff but the community he served.
“Thank you to everybody – I appreciate the fact that I’ve been able to be a part of it for the last 10 years,” he said.
Many councilors commended Burgess for his work and service to the community.
Reading from a Nambe plaque that will be given to Burgess, Council Chair Randall Ryti said, “The County Council expresses their appreciation for the dedicated, faithful services to the citizens and staff of Los Alamos County.”
Ryti added that the County has gone through a lot during Burgess’ tenure and that his services were appreciated throughout all of it.
Councilor David Izraelevitz also commended Burgess.
“It is my honor to congratulate County Manager Harry Burgess,” he said. “Originally, he was County Administrator, but we realized he is more than an administrator to the County, he has important management responsibilities that he has accomplished extremely well … I wondered whether his decade of tenure was any kind of record for the County, it turns out he is not the longest serving County Manager in the history of Los Alamos County, there was another manager … (but) I think the record of longest serving county manager in close to 50 years is enough of a record to show how he was valued … not just by this council but many other councilors …”
“I just want to say a simple and heartfelt thank you, Mr. Burgess, for all your efforts,” Councilor Sara Scott said. “You helped keep Los Alamos County an amazing place and make it even better and I would say that’s through snow, bomb cyclones and pandemics. A lot of things happened that put up challenges, but you always had time to discuss and shed good insights in both urgent issues and strategic planning and thinking …”
Council Vice Chair James Robinson agreed, pointing out that Burgess came to Los Alamos during the Las Conchas Fire and he is leaving in a pandemic. Robinson said he appreciates that Burgess “stuck it out” through some very destructive events and helped the community navigate through them.
“Thank you for your dedication to our community over the last 10 years,” he added. “Even before I was a councilor you never hesitated to answer my questions, my concerns about the County even though I was just a little kid bugging the County Manager, I always appreciated that.”
Councilors Denise Derkacs and David Reagor said while their time working with Burgess was short, they appreciated and enjoyed the experience.
“We only worked together for five months in my term on County Council, but as a resident of Los Alamos County for the 10 years of his service … I appreciate how well the County has been run during his tenure and I just say thank you for your service,” Derkacs said.
“I just want to thank Harry for the great help he’s been during the short tine I’ve been here,” Reagor said. “The professionalism and the quality of work he’s done has just been fantastic and I’ve enjoyed the very short time we’ve had.”
Councilor Sean Williams did not comment.