Moffat County Locals: Peter Brixius finds meaning in city manager position
Peter Brixius might only be “local” in current location, but he sure is making a major impact locally.
Brixius, the City of Craig manager, is 15 months into the position after coming over from Rangely in 2018. In those 15 months, Brixius has had a huge hand in causing positive change within the city limits.
Despite early success and the appearance of a natural for the position, Brixius has a background much, much different from city finance.
Early on in his professional career, Brixius ran a chain of laboratories in the private sector for about 12 years after earning a degree in chemistry. After that, Brixius moved into the scientific temporary health field, where he was in charge of roughly 60 locations across the country with Kelly Scientific Resources.
After doing that for a number of years, Brixius then moved back home to Nebraska, buying a farm where he hoped to settle down. Instead, Brixius got involved in local politics, becoming the president and CEO of a $100 million co-operative in Western Nebraska for a few years.
Wanting more, Brixius sold the farm and moved to Grand Junction with his wife, who grew up in Alamosa. Brixius, having attended high school in Grand Junction, moved back to his childhood home and wanted a new challenge, leading to the city manager’s position in Rangely.
In Rangely, Brixius helped fix the infrastructure quickly and efficiently, pointing Rangely in the right direction once again.
“When I first got to Rangely, the infrastructure was in horrible shape, half of the water plant was not functioning, and most of the buildings needed to be rehabilitated,” Brixius said. “Before I left after those 10 years, we had almost every single building rehabilitated, the water treatment plant redone, and laid 6 miles of new pipe in the ground.
“That’s what I’m most proud of from my time there. I think I left Rangely in great shape.”
Wanting a new challenge, Brixius applied for the City of Craig manager’s position, landing it in September 2018. Since then, Brixius has made meaningful relationships while trying to spruce up the City of Craig.
“The economic challenges are sort of similar in Craig as they were in Rangely, but I think we’re having some good economic activity,” Brixius said. “I’m enjoying it more because I’m more involved here. We’ve got a long ways to go, but we’ve gotten quite a bit done in the year-and-a-half or so that I’ve been here. That’s promising.”
The work being done stands out to Brixius, but for him personally, it’s the relationships he’s been able to create and build within the community that he’s most proud of.
“When I was in the private sector, the customer was always right; now, customers — those in the community — are the most important, but I get to have a personal relationship with them,” Brixius said. “We have some great people here in this community, so getting to know people while making changes to this community has been pretty special so far.”