Steamboat Springs Chuck Grobe said last week was the roughest of his life.
Hayden’s mayor-elect stepped down from the Hayden Town Council after more than 10 years. And Grobe and his wife, Julie, have decided to leave the community they have called home for the past 32 years.
“I feel real bad,” he said. “There’s so many mixed emotions there. I’ve served Hayden for 31 years. It’s always tough to do that kind of thing.”
Grobe announced his decision to leave after Thursday’s Town Council meeting. He ran unopposed for mayor during the general election earlier this month and would have been sworn in next month. Grobe previously served as Hayden’s mayor from 2000 to 2006. Prior to that, he served for 20 years on the Hayden Planning Commission.
Grobe, 60, said the death of his father two months ago changed things for him and Julie.
He said an unexpected inheritance would allow them to move to Craig, where Grobe works for Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association. Julie, a retired bookkeeper for the First National Bank of the Rockies, also works in Craig. She is secretary of the Yampa Valley Pregnancy Center and organizes the annual Operation Christmas Child program.
Grobe said they had been thinking about moving to Craig for several years. He said they’ll likely move in the next three or four months, which will put them in a better position to retire.
“It’s very hard,” he said. “This last week was the roughest week of my life. Sunday night, I didn’t sleep a wink.”
Some members of the Town Council said they were surprised to hear Grobe was stepping down.
Mayor Lorraine Johnson, who has served with Grobe on the Town Council for the past decade, said losing him was “disappointing.” Town Council member Jim Haskins, who served with Grobe from 2000 to 2002 in addition to the past four years, said Hayden was losing a knowledgeable member of the town’s government.
Haskins said Grobe wasn’t someone who just showed up twice a month to Town Council meetings but that he was involved in many areas of Hayden’s business on a regular basis.
In addition to his service on the Town Council — formerly the Hayden Town Board — and the Planning Commission, Grobe also has served on the Hayden School Board, the town’s Cemetery Board and as a reserve officer for the Hayden Police Department.
“From that standpoint, he was great to have on the board because of his knowledge for years with what’s gone on in the town,” Haskins said.
Interim Town Manager Lance Stewart has said that Hayden will accept applications for the vacant Town Council seat until Nov. 30. During the next Town Council meeting, rescheduled to Dec. 9, he said council members would select someone to fill Grobe’s seat and elect officers, including mayor.
Grobe, a Minnesota native who grew up in St. Paul and moved with his family to Hayden to work, said he first got involved with town government because he was asked by the town clerk to join the Planning Commission.
He said what he thought would be a couple years turned into two decades and led to his appointment to the Town Council in November 1999.
Grobe said what he’ll miss most about Hayden is the people, his friends and neighbors, and the town staff.
“The staff that works for the town is some of the best people I’ve ever known,” he said. “They work well together. It’s been a pleasure working with them especially.”