Letter to the Editor

Big shoes to fill

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Dickinson County Trails Board would like to express sincere gratitude to Steve Litts, our fearless director, for his past five years of service. Mr. Litts has decided to step down as of April 1, 2011 in order to enjoy a much deserved retirement. Since becoming the first Executive Director on Jan. 1, 2006, Litts lead the DCTB to become "a true grassroots success story." Under his guidance, DCTB accomplishments include, but are not limited to the following:

DCTB by-laws were written and the new organizational process was formed,

$3,595,000 in state, federal and local grants were awarded through successful fundraising efforts by the Friends of the Trails and events such as the Amy Grant/Vince Gill Trails Benefit, the annual Purse Palooza along with numerous bike rides and trail events, thus funding $4,000,000 of new and reconditioned trails.

Unprecedented collaborative relationships have been developed in Dickinson and surrounding counties, along with, state regulatory departments and trail advocacy organizations.

* 10 miles of new trails were built

* 37 miles of railroad right-of-way was purchased for a future trail from a mile west of Superior, to the town of Sibley.

* An Interstate Linkage was achieved with the Jackson, Minn. trails committee and a State Line Bike Ride was founded.

* DCTB website was established

* A comprehensive list of future trail projects has been developed with the completion dates reaching into the year 2025.

Originally, the Dickinson County Trails Board was the Dickinson County Trails Association. It was a volunteer group under the Dickinson County Conservation Board. As a very motivated and determined group, it was decided the quickest and most efficient way to build our recreational trail system was to redefine our Association as a Board directly under the Supervisors. This board would then hire a "leader to guide them forward." The leader's skill set was defined and the desired abilities of this new leader were quantified. As a committee, we determined that the impossible was at hand. None of the committee members truly believed that this person if available would take on such a daunting task. Then, by some miracle, out of nowhere, came Steve Litts!

The rest is history.

Thank you Steve for your five years of dedication and service!

It is very hard to imagine going forward without Steve Litts as our guide, however, do to his extraordinary leadership; the DCTB is both confident in our mission and our abilities to achieve our goals. We now face the challenge of filling the position of executive director. The organizational process is well established, our mission is clear, and many projects are either under way or awaiting development. Anyone who feels they may have the passion and skill set to "fill these big shoes" can send a cover letter and resume to:

Yvonne Taylor

DCTB

PO Box 304

Okoboji, Iowa 51355