ALAMOSA — “The day that [former Governor] Bill Ritter and I first stepped off an airplane here, I knew that she would do anything for the people that she represented here,” said Senator Michael Bennet of his regional representative Charlotte Bobicki at her retirement party on Friday. Bobicki’s family along with elected officials and other public figures packed San Luis Valley Health’s Mt. Blanca conference room to recognize her career.
Bennet began the event by reading a letter from former Secretary of the Interior and Senator Ken Salazar, who Bobicki first worked for eight years ago.
“It was my distinct honor to have you as an integral part of my Senate staff and I cherish the memories of our San Luis Valley events and visits,” read the letter. “I’m proud of your dedication and hard work throughout the years and you are very deserving of a wonderful retirement.”
Bennet added that he has also appreciated his time with Bobicki and that her passion for the Valley community drove her public service.
“That’s what true patriotism really is about,” Bennet said. “It’s understanding what other people have done for us and what that requires of us to do for other people. Charlotte Bobicki is the living, breathing embodiment, in my mind, of a patriot and of a Coloradoan.”
The crowd then gave Bobicki a standing ovation.
Along with gifting Bobicki a commemorative pin and bouquet of roses, Bennet passed her a framed page of the Congressional Record. On Wednesday, the United States Senate passed a resolution immortalizing a summary of her career and civil work. Bobicki spent 36 years in education, 12 years in the Senate aide position and eight as a county commissioner.
“I have repeatedly relied on her counsel and knowledge of the Valley,” read Bennet in the Congressional Record. “Her relationship and devotion to the community have been invaluable and I will miss her insights and perspective...I know our friendship will continue for years to come.”
Afterwards Bobicki stood at the podium to thank the attendants for their support. “I’m so impressed with all of you coming, to take some special time from what you are doing,” said Bobicki. “I can’t believe this.”
Though she is no longer obligated to follow current events, Bobicki closed her remarks by saying that she will stay involved in the region.
“I would like to know all that is going on in your communities. So if I contact you and give you my opinion, that’s where it’s going to come from... I’ve been saying for years that the Valley is the most special place in Colorado. If we keep working together we’ll all be the greatest.”