Granby Mayor Paul Chavoustie announces departure
When Paul Chavoustie decided he wanted to be the mayor of Granby, he had a vision.
While he has worked hard to make that vision come true, Chavoustie won’t run again this November. He might have to leave the position early, as much as he said he hates to do it.
Chavoustie put his house up for sale last week, figuring it would be a few months before the property sold. Instead, it’s already under contract. While he and his family won’t be moving far, their new place is outside town limits.
Though Chavoustie wishes he could finish his tenure, once the sale closes, he likely can no longer be mayor. However, he’s excited to see what’s next for Granby.
“I feel like I built the template for Granby’s success, and I don’t have to control everything,” Chavoustie said. “Let the citizens come participate and help finalize the vision.”
Before being elected mayor, Chavoustie saw a mountain community with a struggling downtown, something he thought was symptomatic of other issues the town faced. Development was moving south. Affordable housing was lacking. The economic activity needed to create a thriving town had turned stagnant.
But Chavoustie saw potential.
“All the puzzle pieces were there,” he said. “They just weren’t assembled.”
Out east sat a failed development project known as the Shorefox property. It was there that Chavoustie built his vision. He helped broker a deal that ultimately paid off Granby’s debt and brought in a developer who opened the River Run RV resort, while leaving roughly 1,000 acres of open space in the town’s hands.
Chavoustie has also begun talks to place most of that space into a land trust, which would forever preserve the land — including a mile and a half of river — and possibly bring another $3 million to the town.
During the mayor’s time multiple attainable housing projects have moved forward, like the Rodeo Apartments and Smith Creek Crossing. The town added year-round transportation with eight stops in Granby. Business facades have been revamped and the town has rebranded.
This work and more has all been part of his vision to adapt to the growth that was coming to Granby, whether the town wanted that growth or not.
“It all really came down to bringing a better quality of life without overrunning the place,” Chavoustie said. “They’re already driving through — let’s get them to stop. Let’s have it be a benefit to our community.”
Chavoustie will not be running for re-election this year, but he is proud of what has been accomplished during his time.
He has already spent more than four years as mayor due to a vote in 2018 that moved Granby elections from April to November. During that time, he also took on the responsibilities of town manager twice between hirings.
Tackling all of these projects hasn’t always been easy. Chavoustie sees the mayor position as more than a full time job. It takes 24 hours a day, seven days a week to accomplish what he wanted to accomplish.
That’s taken a toll on his two youngest children, who are 7 and 10.
“I asked my kids, ‘How can I be a better dad?’” Chavoustie recalled. “And I could see it in their eyes. They said, ‘Throw away your phone and stop being mayor.’”
Ultimately, his decision to step away means spending more time with family.
While Chavoustie feels he has accomplished his goals as mayor, there are still a couple loose ends. He has approached and been turned down twice by the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority about funding for a senior housing project, but he is hopeful it will still happen.
Traffic along main street has been another struggle dependent on the state, but a streetscape project is in the works to slow traffic, improve safety and better the appearance of Agate Avenue.
Chavoustie said he wants the next mayor to understand the amount of time, blood, sweat and tears that comes with the role, which only pays $800 a month. He hopes that no matter what, the next mayor keeps all of Granby in mind.
“Don’t run on a single agenda,” was his advice. “Don’t even run on a personal agenda, because you’re not there to serve your agenda … You’re there to help the community.”
The mayor hopes as Granby navigates growth and adapts to change that the town holds onto its character. While Chavoustie said he won’t be running for public office again anytime soon, he’s looking into consulting for small town communities across the country.
Chavoustie said what he will miss most of all from his time as mayor is the town staff at Granby, all of whom he admires and helped him to make his visions a reality.
“They’re so reliable; they’re so committed,” Chavoustie said. “Granby just has great people here. It has really, really great people here.”
Even outside town limits and without his title, Chavoustie said he will still consider himself a part of the Granby community, and he looks forward to seeing the town thrive.
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