County's Dave Rose retires after 40+ years in the information business


Rose: Heading for retirement. - PHOTOS COURTESY OF EL PASO COUNTY
  • Photos courtesy of El Paso County
  • Rose: Heading for retirement.
This isn't an obituary or anything, but on the momentous occasion of the retirement of Dave Rose, it's worth taking note of his long service to the community in more ways than one.

I first became aware of who Dave Rose was in the mid-1990s when I was working for the daily newspaper and had just produced a story raising questions about Colorado Springs Utilities' payments to his boss, former Colorado Springs mayor Harry Hoth, who owned KRDO TV where Rose worked as news director.

Rose was in my face demanding answers to questions about why I had suggested anything untoward in the Utilities deal, which would pay Hoth $500,000 for right-of-way to accommodate a water project.

Which is to say, Rose can be passionate about what he does, whether in the journalism world, or as public information officer for El Paso County, a position he held for 10 years and from which he soon will step down.

Lots of journalists transition from news to public relations, and Rose did so flawlessly. For journalists, it's somewhat of an advantage to deal with former journalists in the PR world. One hopes they recall their own days trying to squeeze information from public agencies.

Parsell: Picking up where Rose left off.
  • Parsell: Picking up where Rose left off.
That said, Rose was always fiercely loyal to his employer. He's adeptly kept the heat off commissioners at times, while providing information to reporters when they ask. He's become a skilled spin doctor, in other words, without sacrificing credibility.

It wasn't an easy gig. Rose has had to be anywhere and everywhere, such as coordinating information during the Waldo Canyon Fire in 2012 (he helped set up and oversee the Disaster Recovery Center) and the Black Forest Fire in 2013. He was also there early on snowy mornings advising about road conditions, traveling with commissioners to various conferences, and other meetings, and explaining or defending commissioners' actions.  He served in ancillary roles too, such as on the board of the El Paso-Teller 911 Authority, and was a board member of the National Association of Broadcasters and National Association of County Information Officers.

Anyway, Rose's days as the county's spokesperson will end on Oct. 19 when he relinquishes the reins to Ryan Parsell, who worked as PIO for the El Paso County Clerk and Recorder's Office from 2013 to 2017, after which he served as deputy state treasurer. His salary will be $110,000.

Rose himself issued the news release, in which County Administrator Henry Yankowski is quoted as saying, "Ryan brings a broad range of experience in public communications, legislative and policy development and organizational management in private, public and non-profit sectors.”

So after more than 30 years in radio and television news, and another 10 with the county, Rose is calling is quits. Maybe I'm getting soft in my old age, but I, for one, am really going to miss Dave. 

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