Craig's new city attorney hits the ground running

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Craig's new city attorney, Kenneth Wohl, says he expects that transition from one city attorney to another will be a smooth one.

Wohl started work Monday and former city attorney Sherman Romney will stay on through the end of November to help ease Wohl into the position.

Wohl comes to Craig

from Loveland, where he was just getting his feet wet as the assistant city attorney. He had been in that position for six months when opportunity knocked.

"I learned so much in such a short time (in Loveland)," said the fast-talking, but casual newcomer. "I intended to stay there longer, but this opportunity came up."

Wohl was born in Denver and spent most of his life in Colorado, so he finds the move an easy one. He said he thinks he'll enjoy Craig because of its proximity to the things he enjoys -- hiking, cross country skiing and the Colorado Rockies.

"The thing about communities on the Western Slope is they're all so unique and different in their own ways, I like them all for different reasons," he said. In Craig, he's already found a kinship with the residents and an affinity for the climate.

Wohl graduated from the University of California Berkeley and went on to the University of Denver law school.

His background is diverse, with an emphasis on employment law. He spent 14 years with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, working in Denver and San Antonio.

"With the federal government, I really found it interesting to work with city officials," he said.

For about four years, he was the staff attorney and human resources director for Colorado West Mental Health in Glenwood Springs and had the opportunity to visit Craig a couple of times in that position.

Wohl also has worked in the law department at U.S. West, for Continental Airlines as an employment law attorney, held private practice and represented indigent clients in the Denver area.

He's excited about this opportunity to practice municipal law.

Wohl's job will range from prosecuting municipal cases to drafting ordinances and city policy.

"Like most professions, it's a learning process," he said. "You can't be an expert in everything. The best you can do is your best.

"You have to do a lot of listening because that's how you learn what people are concerned about."

Wohl plans to hit the ground running and already has spent the day in municipal court, which he said is well run.

He's received good feedback from the city council and the community about the city's staff, which he said will help make his job easier.

"It seems to me, from the vibes I get, the city administration is well thought of and that was a deciding factor to me."

He said he admires small towns and the quality of people who volunteer their time to serve as elected officials and on boards and commissions.

Wohl said he hopes to serve in Craig until he retires -- a date he hinted at, but wouldn't give outright.

"I've done a fair number of things," he said. "I'd like to think that all the things you've done during your life are not separate. They kind of come together."

Christina M. Currie can be reached at 824-7031, Ext. 210 or by e-mail at ccurrie@craigdailypress.com.

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