Montrose, CO — After eight years of public service on the Montrose City Council, including two terms as mayor, Judy Ann Files voiced a heartfelt goodbye to the community during Tuesday’s City Council meeting.
Files, who is term-limited, was given the virtual floor Tuesday during the council’s online meeting to describe the experiences that have made her tenure memorable.
"I am taking the opportunity to say thank you to all of you: council, staff, and the community. It has been an amazing ride for me,” Files said, speaking through emotion.
(Judy Ann Files speaks in 2018 following her last term as mayor.)
Files recounted attending every City Council meeting, work session, executive session, and numerous social gatherings and events as part of the City of Montrose over the past nine years.
(Mayor Judy Ann Files signs a city proclamation in 2018)
"I never could have imagined that my last meeting would be with me sitting in my own living room by myself. Maybe this is for the best," Files said.
The City Council has been meeting online for the past three weeks to adhere to social distancing precautions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Files said she "enjoyed every minute" of service on the council, pushing through the painful times to celebrate the accomplishments that made her public service worthwhile. During her tenure on council Files served on the Colorado Municipal League’s Policy Committee for many years.
During File’s first term as mayor in 2013, the City of Montrose earned the All-America City award from the National Civic League. The award is a national community recognition program that recognizes the work of communities in using inclusive civic engagement to address critical issues and creating stronger connections among residents, businesses, and nonprofit and government leaders. Montrose was recognized for celebrating diversity in the community.
"I take joy in seeing that we continue to display the (All-America) emblem,” she said.
(Judy Ann Files, along with City Manager Bill Bell, left, inspect the construction of Mayfly Outdoors in 2018.)
Files said Tuesday she continues to take pride in the city’s improved streets, new recreation trails, and the efforts councilors and city staff have made to work together to improve the quality of life in Montrose.
"The Montrose community should also take pride in the accomplishments these past eight years. To achieve these things it has taken council and staff who are willing to work together for the betterment of the community," Files said. "Thank you."
Following File’s remarks, she was given a standing ovation from those watching in living rooms across the city.
"Judy Ann Files has dedicated much of her life to making Montrose a better place in which to live, work and raise a family over her past eight years on the City Council," City Manager Bill Bell said. "I have truly appreciated the opportunity to work with Judy Ann and the entire Files family in both a professional and personal capacity during this time. Their impact on Montrose has been tremendous. Thank you, Judy Ann!"
(Judy Ann Files speaks during a council work session in 2019.)
City Council will have at least one new member from the April 7 municipal election. Candidates William Bennett, Merri D. Brennecke, Dave Frank, and Dave Stockton are all running for File’s seat.
A recording of Tuesday’s meeting can be found here.
WATCH: An interview with Judy Ann Files about her service on City Council. VIDEO
For more city news related to COVID-19, visit CityofMontrose.org/COVID19