By Susan de Castro McCann
Redstone Review Editor
LYONS – “The biggest thing for me is to learn how everything here operates in the public sector,” said Jeremy Matsen, who was recently chosen from eight student candidates to become the new Town of Lyons intern.
“This is really new to me,” he added. “I have worked in small business and done construction work.”
Matsen, 32, will be working for Lyons for two years while he completes his master of arts degree in political science with an emphasis on public policy at the University of Colorado in Denver.
He plans to graduate in 2014.
The town received a grant from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, DOLA, to hire an intern. Matsen will be paid $32,500 from DOLA while he learns the ins and outs of small-town government under the direction and watchful eye of Victoria Simonsen, Lyons town administrator.
He is from Bemidji, Minnesota where he went to Bemidji State University and received a B.S. in business administration. Matsen compares Lyons to Bemidji saying that they both are small towns, attract tourists and have seasonal businesses. Bemidji has about 12,000 people and is located in an area of dense woods and lakes. Bemidji claims to be the hometown of Paul Bunyan and his companion, Babe the blue ox. There is a gigantic statue of Paul with his axe and Babe near the center of town.
Matsen’s duties will rotate each quarter as he works in each and every department in town. This first quarter he will work with Administrator Simonsen, and during the summer he will work in the Parks, Recreation and Community Development Department on the festivals, bike races, parades and town events. He will work with Jacque Watson, economic development coordinator on the eastern corridor annexations as well as with the various committees and commissions in town. He will work with Town Clerk Deb Anthony on the upcoming election and with Finance Director Jody McClurkin on the town budget. The budget process begins in July.
Matsen, who moved to Longmont, will still maintain a full load of course work to complete his master’s degree. His classes begin later this month at CU Denver where he will take eight hours of courses on both Saturday and Sunday each weekend and four hours of classes on Friday.
Looking at his schedule, it’s hard to figure out when he will find the time to do laundry and visit his girl friend in Colorado Springs. But Matsen is optimistic and very excited about working in Lyons.
“Lyons was my first choice (for an internship),” he said. “All the interns wanted to work here because Victoria had such a complete program described in her proposal. The other towns had a few paragraphs describing their program and they didn’t say much. I applied to several towns, but I really wanted to work in Lyons. I did some research on Lyons and that made me more interested in working in Lyons. This is the way that I envisioned Colorado. It is the real Colorado. Lyons is all about character. When I first arrived in Colorado I went to Colorado Springs and I was really disappointed in the culture. Colorado Springs is not the way I envisioned Colorado.”
Matsen said that he originally moved to Colorado Springs to help a friend open a medical marijuana dispensary. He worked with his friend at the dispensary for about 1.5 years.
Currently, Matsen has been assigned to work on parking for Lyons and to attend all the town board meetings and as many board and commission meetings as possible. He can be reached at 303-823-6622 or firstname.lastname@example.org.Back to Top