John Ziegler, long-time staff director for the Colorado General Assembly's Joint Budget Committee

John Ziegler, long-time staff director for the Colorado General Assembly's Joint Budget Committee

John Ziegler, long-time staff director for the Colorado General Assembly's Joint Budget Committee (JBC), is planning a late August retirement.

Ziegler has been the staff director for the budget-writing panel for 17 years. He served eight years with the committee as a staff analyst before that.

As staff and budget director, Ziegler oversees a staff of 15. He also makes policy recommendations to the JBC on budget matters.

Ziegler has been a consistent resource for lawmakers at the Capitol throughout his 25 years, especially during the two-week process of approving the annual state budget. 

"It's time to let some new thinkers think," Ziegler told Colorado Politics Monday, although he also mentioned that this story would have no direct quotes from him. (it's a JBC joke. JBC staff rarely give on-the-record interviews, and Ziegler is more close-mouthed than most.)

Ziegler said he will most miss the people he's worked with, including his staff, lawmakers and members of the public.

His immediate plans? Sleep past 3:25 in the morning, he said.

Prior to working for the state, Ziegler worked for a bank, MGM UA movie theaters and Boulder County, primarily in finance. He holds a BS in business management and theory from Cal State Northridge and an MBA from Regis.

Former state Rep. Brad Young of Lamar was chair of JBC when Ziegler was hired as staff director. Ziegler was diligent and impressive, Young told Colorado Politics. "I think it worked out well."

"You can't replace that kind of institutional knowledge," said current JBC Chair Sen. Dominick Moreno of Commerce City.

Moreno told Colorado Politics that Ziegler has been preparing the staff for the transition for several years.

"He's a wealth of information," Moreno added.

That information includes expertise on the state budget process.

"He's incredible at understanding statutes, the constitution, and steering the JBC in a good direction to make sure we have sound fiscal policies," he said.

Ziegler has been incredible to learn from, Moreno said.

"He'll be sorely missed and hard to replace. We wish him the best in his retirement."

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