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Summit Councilor Reflects On 2020's Wild Ride

Roger Armstrong

In his last interview for 2020, we asked County Council Member Roger Armstrong to reflect on an earthshaking year. In response, Armstrong said from his vantage point, he saw county officials and staff rising to the challenges of a pandemic and more. 

Armstrong said that at this time last year, it’s safe to say, nobody in the world was predicting 2020.


“I’m thinking all of us, thinking as human beings, anticipated that life was gonna go on the way we normally wanted it to, and then that changed abruptly. And we started the year off, I think we had earthquakes, we had the pandemic, we had all kinds of ridiculous things happening all at the same time. They said, “Okay, 2020’s gonna be different than you expected.” And then in the middle of all that the Hideout controversy started, and we had to convert resources to that.”


He said that County Attorney Margaret Olson and her office did an astounding job reacting to Hideout’s adverse annexation into Summit County.


Armstrong said that County Manager Tom Fisher and Assistant Manager Janna Young stepped up to handle a roller-coaster year. Meanwhile, Health Director Rich Bullough and his Deputy Phil Bondurant responded to Covid-19.


“They’re strategic. None of these people made any moves that were abrupt, or that were intended to completely disrupt things. And we were responsive to busineses and members of the public in terms of pushing back. And we found good compromises. I think if you look at our numbers, it bodes well for how this was handled.”


Finally, he said the county staff had to deal with budget cuts, working from home, and taking on additional jobs.


“And they did it with smoke and mirrors, because we certainly didn’t have the money to pay for it. It required grant funding. It required endless meetings. And it required a sensitivity and a strategy to make sure that we could get public buy-in. The public didn’t buy the things that we were trying to do, this could have slid off the rails. And for the most part, the residents of Summit County have been just incredible.”

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