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Commissioner Edward H. Norden Chairs Final Meeting

Commissioner Edward H. Norden, center, accepts accolades at his final official board meeting. Fellow Commissioners Debbie Bell, right, and Tim Payne help give him an emotional standing ovation. (Photo courtesy Cañon City Daily Record)

Business turned personal – and emotional – when Commissioner Chair Edward H. Norden conducted his last regularly-scheduled official Board meeting on Dec. 27.

Norden was recognized by Commissioner Debbie Bell with a gavel plaque and a prepared speech. “It’s difficult to find the right words for a send-off that has been, for Fremont County, 12 years in the making,” she said. “Commissioner Norden has meant so much to so many in this county.”

Having served three terms, or 12 years, Commissioner Norden attended 287 regularly-scheduled board meetings and 39 special board meetings. The single meeting he missed was to present a grant application before the Colorado Department of Local Affairs. That application was successful, and the DOLA funds enabled a collaboration to finally offer regional dispatch service throughout Fremont County. He served as chairman of the board for five years. His final gavel plaque included all five years of his service – 2007, 2010, 2011, 2015, and 2016.

“When Commissioner Norden walks out the door for the last time, he will be taking an incredible amount of institutional knowledge with him,” Bell said. “He also will leave with his own particular brand of leadership, standards, values, and so much more that we will miss.” She said future county commissioners would do well to model work habits and ethics after his for the benefit of the entire county.

Accepting the plaque, Norden said the Bible has guided his path throughout his time in office. In particular, he quoted Psalm 121: “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.”

In an emotional final statement, Norden said, “Thank you again for the opportunity to serve.” He received a standing ovation from the entire room.

Norden’s final official day is Jan. 9, 2017. A public reception for his retirement is scheduled Thursday, Jan. 5, 3 to 5 p.m. in the atrium of the Administration Building, 615 Macon Ave., Cañon City.