Grand County Manager Lee Staab announces retirement

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by Tara Walker
During the October 23 Board of County Commissioner meeting, Grand County Manager Lee Staab announced that he is retiring effective February 15. He has served as the County Manager since August 29, 2016.

Staab stated of his reasons to retire, “Recent changes in my personal life have forced me to choose between family and my profession. For the past 40 years, I’ve served country in and out of uniform. However, following a recent personal medical emergency, I was able to look into my wife’s eyes and knew it was time to reexamine my personal priorities.”

Staab came to Grand Count with strong experience and a high-quality education. Staab had 27 years in the military as well as an extensive educational background with West Point, a degree in Engineering from the University of Illinois and completed the Executive Education Program with Harvard Business School.

Although many know Staab through his time with Grand County, he said that the decision to retire brought about a time of reflection. Staab said, “I describe myself using the following seven words: father, son, husband, Christian, American, leader and soldier. Throughout my entire life, I have tried to live up to the standards demanded for each of these often-competing priorities.”

Following his time with Grand County, Staab plans to work with 3 nonprofits that assist and work with Veterans. He says that he will be truly blessed to work with these heroes once again and that veterans embody the American principles of duty, honor and country.

There were tears in his eyes and the eyes of the audience as Staab looked to his wife as he explained his future plans and how his wife would be his priority, “I can never thank her enough. I will publicly state that my main focus in life will be on my bride, my wife and my best friend, Wanda, who has stood by my side and supported me through my entire career.” He laughed and said she will soon have him by always by her side and for her to be careful what she wished for.

Commissioner Merritt Linke seemed surprised and saddened by the announcement, “We have a lot of work ahead of us and there are big shoes to fill, and it will be difficult. The direction Lee has taken the county has been a huge change and I like the direction we are going, and I hope we can keep on the path. Lee, we appreciate what you do.”

Staab will continue as Grand County Manager through February 15. The 2019 budget resolution will be signed in December. Short term rental program information campaigns are upcoming, the Grand County Needs assessment starts next week, and Staab is awaiting the transition plan and the budget from the new provider for Cliffview. Staab also discussed the new Granby transit expansion and explained that Grand County is contributing $14,032. Staab, “I look forward to making progress on long-term strategic issues that will shape our county for years to come.”
Staab’s wife Wanda was in the audience for the announcement. She brought breakfast for everyone at the meeting as she continued to support and love her husband. Lee said she hasn’t left his side since his medical emergency and he looks forward to more time with her.

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