Granby hires new town manager |

Granby hires new town manager

Tonya Bina
Sky-Hi Daily News

After an extensive search, the town that’s been operating without a manager since January has hired Don W. Baird of Bethel, Alaska ” Granby’s new town manager.

“I’m looking forward to being there and starting,” Baird said Wednesday.

“Before I applied for the job, my wife and I talked about that being a place we’d want to go. We’d visited Granby several times before. I’m looking forward to getting there and meeting the people.”

The manager of the Alaskan town of around 6,000 residents and his wife are expected to return to the lower 48 by his start-date, July 14.

He was chosen unanimously from five town-manager candidate finalists who were interviewed in the beginning of May. Interviews were performed by three different panels with a total of 21 people, including community members, town staff and town-board members.

Baird, who goes by “Wally,” was the “number-one pick” among each person, according to Granby Mayor Jynnifer Pierro.

The hiring has taken more time than expected, the mayor said, due to Baird giving thorough notice to his present employer.

Granby negotiated a $95,000-per-year contract for three years with full benefits.

Baird has been in city management for 35 years, serving communities in Utah, California, Nebraska and Alaska, according to his resume and biography.

Other prior experience includes community redevelopment, city planning, and electrical contracting. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in botany from Weber State University in Ogden, Utah, and a master’s in public administration from Brigham Young University. He has also been an adjunct instructor for two institutions of higher education: Chadron State College in Nebraska and the University of Alaska Fairbanks in Alaska.

In addition, Baird has been a guest lecturer for San Diego State University, and has had articles published in a handful of magazines.

His wife Susie works for the University of Alaska-Fairbanks at a rural campus in Bethel.

The couple has a blended family of seven children who live in Texas, Utah, California and Alaska.

The town plans to hold an open house to introduce Baird to the Granby public when he settles into the community, Pierro said.

” Tonya Bina can be reached at 887-3334 ext. 19603 or e-mail