Granby’s new town manager hits the job running
July 15, 2008
Five years ago Wally Baird and his wife Susie were vacationing in Granby for the Fourth of July weekend when he told her this is a “place that I could live and work.”
That wish came true yesterday, when Baird took his post as Granby’s new town manager.
The Utah native, who most recently served as manager for the town of Bethel, Alaska, arrived in Granby last Friday. This morning he met with co-workers to talk about what’s going on in the community and ate breakfast with community leaders.
He will accompany Mayor Jynnifer Pierro to meet community members on Wednesday.
The last town Baird managed had 6,000 residents and a staff with 100 employees. More than 1,500 people live in Granby, and the town has 20 employees.
“It will always be different,” Baird said, about his new position. “There are unique challenges working in a smaller community. Even though this is a smaller community it’s a growing community.”
Baird said every community faces issues with growth. “Whether it’s shrinking or growing, in Granby’s case there will be issues with growth and new development,” he added.
In addition, he said personnel issues can be expected, and the town will have to work with other communities, local governments, the county and state. “They all play a part in city government in one way or another,” he said.
Baird first visited the area in 1999. On July 4, 2003, the Bairds watched the fireworks from Granby’s Littletree Inn parking lot during a motorcycle vacation.
“I think getting settled and getting to know the people who work here and the community are things I’m looking forward to the most,” Baird said. “We’re really happy to be here. We’ve been looking forward to coming here since the first part of May.”
The Bairds stopped at the Granby Town Hall when they arrived Friday. On Saturday, they found a temporary apartment in Granby. On Sunday, they attended church services in Granby and drove around the area.
“We really like it here,” Baird said. “When the job came open we didn’t hesitate about applying ” it wasn’t even a question … This was a good opportunity and we took it.”