Ed Raffety, longtime Granby mayor pro tem, is moving on | SkyHiNews.com

Ed Raffety, longtime Granby mayor pro tem, is moving on

Tonya Bina

Decades-worth of belongings were boxed up this week at the home of Ed and Pat Raffety as the couple prepared for their move to Denver. Raffety children and grandchildren helped by packing, lifting and carrying as the Raffetys directed traffic.

The elderly couple and the Raffety dog Cody are moving from their two-story Garnet Avenue home to a one-story apartment in Denver, in search of greater convenience and assistance.

It’s a momentous decision, with the couple returning to their home city after living in Grand County for 42 years.

They originally moved to Grand County for the reasons most do – familiarity with the area’s mountains and lakes, and activities from countless family weekend visits.

When the opportunity to make a change arose, the then-grocery store manager of Miller’s Supermarkets in Denver moved his family to a home on the North Fork of the Colorado River, a picturesque site where the gentle river meanders past.

He and Pat opened Mr. Ed’s grocery store, one of three independently owned grocery stores in Granby at the time, which catered to the community for the next 20 years. Upon its sale, Mr. Ed’s became Grand County Market, then eventually Leaver’s. Leaver’s – now the Ace Country Home Outfitters in Granby – closed upon the opening of City Market on the southern end of town.

Even back then, when homes were still sparse in the Three Lakes area, Ed Raffety revealed his penchant for making things better. He got involved with his homeowners association and brought positive change by seeing to it a compliant bridge replaced the older one that spanned the upper Colorado.

It’s this kind of involvement on which Ed thrived during his longer than 20 years of service to the Town of Granby.

Around 1989, the Raffetys moved to their Garnet Avenue home in Granby, and in 1991, Ed was first elected to the town board. He then was elected mayor on April 2, 1996, and served for the next four years. Upon the death of Mayor Dick Thompson in 2001, Raffety was appointed as mayor and served again until April of 2002. He has been a trustee ever since and designated the town’s mayor pro-tem.

Recreation dust-up

Raffety first joined the board under a recall election that surrounded the future of the town’s recreation department. Some on the board were threatening to close the department by firing the recreation director and cutting funding, Ed said, which many citizens in town were against.

“I was asked to be one of the persons to run for the recall, and I did,” he said.

He has been a supporter of recreation programs and facilities ever since, and has noticed a positive change in attitude toward the town’s recreational offerings.

“Now (citizens) insist on it,” he said. “It’s an important part of a lot of people’s lives.”

He has been so dedicated to the recreation spectrum in town, “Raffety Park” was named after him and his work. An indoor soccer dome rests on the property, and Raffety hopes for another recreational facility at the park someday.

Kaibab Park has seen improvements during Raffety’s time on the board, with still “room for improvement,” Raffety said. “But it’s now accessible to people. The natural beauty of it is there; it’s just never been taken advantage of.”

And he would have liked to have seen a “beautiful” recreation center like Fraser’s end up in the town of Granby, he said, but knows the size of the community, the lack of necessity with one now in Fraser, and the money needed for such a facility makes it a far-off challenge for the Granby area.

But Raffety was successful in attracting a new stoplight to Granby at what was deemed a dangerous intersection when the new City Market first opened. Raffety took the initiative on the town board to spearhead a campaign. In the lobby of City Market, Raffety and fellow volunteers collected 1,700 signatures in favor of a stoplight at that intersection.

If it weren’t for that signal, “I’m sure we would have had serious injuries or fatalities” there,’ Raffety said.

The mayor pro-tem was also a leading advocate for forming a Granby Police Department, which Raffety says benefits the community by reducing response times in local emergencies.

While Raffety served, the town also saw rejuvenation after the town’s devastating blow brought on by the late Marvin Heemeyer. A new town hall, as well as a new library and a new newspaper building were the resulting upside to that tragedy, he said.

“I’m happy with the things we were able to accomplish,” the mayor pro-tem said of his two decades on the board.

He leaves with a glimmer of pride – along with a dose of humility – knowing that he leaves the town “better than when I found it.”

Tonya Bina can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19603

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