Michelle Bird, Public Affairs Manager
The Larimer County Board of Commissioners is saddened to announce that Commissioner Lew Gaiter III, passed away on September 18, 2018.
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“Lew was a man of great dedication to his work, strong faith, integrity and courage. His passing leaves a huge hole in our hearts, our office, and our community. He will be missed by all,” said Steve Johnson, chairman of the Board of County Commissioners.
Commissioner Gaiter was appointed in 2010 to fill the District I seat on the Larimer County Board of Commissioners, vacated by the resignation of Commissioner Kathay Rennels. He was elected in the November 2010 general election, and reelected in the November 2014 general election.
Since day one, Commissioner Gaiter emphasized a culture of innovation and process improvement at Larimer County. He was instrumental in the development of the Larimer County Innovation Awards program and was a champion for launching a process to adopt a five-year strategic plan in 2013.
“Joyful and generous, always with a smile on his face, Lew Gaiter was Larimer County’s own ‘Happy Warrior’ for those things that he believed in so passionately,” commented Commissioner Tom Donnelly. “Commissioner Gaiter’s integrity and bravery will leave a lasting legacy and provide a great example to all of us that have known him.”
During his tenure as a Larimer County Commissioner, Gaiter was also a driving force in forming the Larimer County Department of Economic Development, helped establish the Larimer County Office of Emergency Management, and worked constantly on establishing the groundwork for rural broadband development in Larimer County.
Serving the public was the honor of Commissioner Gaiter’s life. He especially enjoyed his monthly citizen meetings, traveling all over the county to engage with citizens from Red Feather Lakes to Estes
Park. As a Commissioner, Gaiter also served as Chair of the Board of Larimer County Commissioners in 2012, 2015 and 2017; President of CCI.; Vice-President of the Front Range District, CCI; Chair of the Tourism, Resorts and Economic Development Steering Committee, CCI; Member of the National Association of Counties’ (NACo) Board of Directors; Chair of NACo Information Technology Standing Committee; Member of Telecommunications and Technology Steering Committee, NACo; Member of the Colorado State Board of Health; Board Member of the Colorado Statewide Internet Portal Authority; and Vice- Chair of the State Emergency Medical and Trauma Services Advisory Council [SEMTAC].
Chip Taylor, Executive Director of Colorado Counties Inc. (CCI) said of Commissioner Gaiter: “He was widely known for his efforts to be inclusive and draw out opinions from even the most reluctant, to consider many perspectives in his decision-making and to seek common ground among diverse interests. Lew was an influential figure in his county, state, and country and made the most of his terms as a county commissioner. As CCI President, Lew worked to make CCI’s processes more transparent and accessible to all members.”
Before his time as a commissioner, Gaiter worked for Hewlett-Packard as a software engineer, and also owned his own technology business.