About George



·         Born and raised in Idaho Springs

·         Cofounder of Scraps-to-Soil and president for seven years

·         Manager of Georgetown Market for four years and currently regional manager with the company.

·         Bachelors degree in Economics

·         Numerous other boards, task forces and committees


·         Managing collaborative efforts

·         Critical thinking

·         Economic analysis

·         Listening and learning from others

·         Positivity and perseverance


·         Honesty

·         Inclusivity

·         Justice

·         Equity

·         Responsibility

·         Work ethic


As told by George

Thanks for taking the time to get to know me as a person.  I was born and raised in Idaho Springs and continue to live here today.  This community has given me every opportunity to thrive and helped me through the toughest moments of my life.  I would not be the person I am if not for the support and tolerance I’ve enjoyed from this community.  I’ve been working in this community for nearly ten years to create and maintain spaces that enhance the sense of community that has given me so much.  At the end of the day, I am simply another person who tries to be as involved as possible in the community and make a real difference in the lives of my neighbors and generations to come.  My wife Ursula (Uchi) and I have taken an unconventional path through our lives to carve out the time to work for this community as volunteers. 

I lucky to be raised in Idaho Springs.  Clear Creek County is a special community in a special place.  I was supported and held accountable by this community.  You learn to act differently when people know who you are; I can now appreciate the times that my parents found out my misdeeds before I got home.  I also appreciate the support that this community has given my family and the opportunities I’ve had to support my neighbors in their times of need. 

My parents who did their best to provide us a stable life despite considerable challenges.  My father (George Marlin) worked off and on in the service industry as a cook and manager while taking short term detours to pursue other career opportunities.  My mother (Margie Marlin) operated a local daycare before going to college to pursue a career in early childhood education.  She has worked as a pre-school teacher in Carlson for the last 21 years.  During her career she has taught over 300 children in Idaho Springs.  My uncle Bob Marlin and aunt Gretchen Marlin lived in Idaho Springs as well and were part of my support system.  My parents were the type to help anyone in need and relied on help from others from time to time.  The broader community supported us during tough times and we helped others when times weren’t so tough. 

Our greatest need came when my brother Ian Marlin passed away suddenly in a car accident.  Her was seventeen and I was ten.  Ian was well known in the community for his athleticism with the Gold Diggers .  His death was traumatic for many people in the community.  The community came together around my family in a special way.  Meals were left on our porch and in our oven, hugs were abundant and Ian was memorialized  in a bell that was placed at the local football field to be rung every time the diggers score a touchdown.  The next eight years or so were tough for me.  I withdrew socially and underperformed academically.  Looking back, I was treated with a lot of tolerance by members of this community during that time.  Over time that anger and sadness transformed into gratefulness and pride in my community.

After meeting my wife and enjoying my second go around at Red Rocks Community College, my wife my cousin (Cameron) and I decided to start a nonprofit wit the mission to develop sustainable lifestyle alternatives in the Clear Creek County.  The idea was born out of a conversation in which we were discussing the communities we could move to that had options to compost, garden and more.  During that conversation we realized that it was better to try to build those things in this community which had already given us so much.  I have been working to give back and help our communities since.  I’ve served as the president of scraps-to-soil since 2011.  Building a nonprofit from the bottom up has been an incredible learning experience.  Along the way I’ve gained valuable skills including budgeting and financial management, volunteer leadership, consensus building, strategic planning and coalition building.  This experience taught me first and foremost that our community is full of passionate and caring individuals who selflessly volunteer.  It is easy to think that progress happens due to the efforts of one individual at the top, but the fact is that nothing gets done without the efforts of heroic and humble volunteers who hold up the sky of our community. 

I graduated Red Rocks Community College in 2009 with an Associates of the Science and an Associate of the Arts.  I earned a double associates because I found that I was interested in everything and took almost forty classes trying to decide on a career path.  The only thing I knew was that I needed knowledge to be a force for good in this world.  The problem was that every subject I studied applied in some way to the issues of justice and sustainability that increasingly drove my thinking.  I spent time learning math, science, engineering, psychology, sociology, philosophy and economics.  This effort gave me a very broad-based education that helps me understand issues from several different angles. 

I transferred to Regis to pursue a Bachelors in economics and graduated in the fall of 2013.  I earned a 4.0 GPA and the S.J. Ryan Award for excellence in economics.  I performed graduate level work learning how to critique studies during my time there.  My interest in economics arose out of skepticism for the field.  I wanted to understand the ways in which economic activity is not always good for communities and the environment and how to avoid bad outcomes for communities.

In 2014 I was hired as the Manager of the Georgetown Market.  My job was to complete the remodel, open the business and make it profitable.  Our mission is to provide fresh food to locals on the west end of the county.  I was excited by the opportunity to rejuvenate a business that meets a critical need in the community while continuing to expand my skill-set.  Just as with Scraps-to-Soil, I had to learn quickly and lead effectively in order to succeed.  I brought the skills I had developed leading volunteers to the Georgetown Market, creating an atmosphere in which everyone on staff was encouraged to take a hand in developing the business.  By making sure everyone had a seat at the table, I ensured that the best ideas could rise to the top no matter where they started.  I am now the District Manager with Blackwell Oil Company (The Georgetown Market’s parent company) and continue to operate on a collaborative leadership model. 

I was elected to co-chair the Clear Creek Democrats in 2017 after initiating a change in our by-laws to allow for co-leadership.  I advocated for a co-leadership model because I thrive in collaborative environments.  Collaborative leadership is not for everyone.  Many people prefer unitary executive power.  I know how to share power and work together as an equal.  This could be the most under looked skill of a county commissioner who is one member of a three person team.  Collaborative leadership can be either twice as effective or half as affective as sole leadership depending on the people involved. 

As my skillset expands I continue to seek new opportunities to be helpful to this community.  Right now this means that I want to help the county overcome our current challenges.  The biggest thing holding the county back is lack of inclusivity of the public and collaboration on the county commission.  This community is full of smart, passionate and motivated people that are willing to work to overcome these issues.  It is time to give them a seat at the table.  I have the skillset to lead a process in which citizen task forces are created to better understand our issues and implement solutions to them.  This is how we will find the right solutions and get them across the finish line. 

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  • James Leonard
    commented 2018-09-18 15:09:58 -0700
    One comment already posted.
    County commissioner leadership requires vision, substantive goals, and the ability to inspire team members to follow.