Steve Glammeyer, a 24-year employee of the City of Delta, pictured himself working another nine years, then retiring at the age of 55 with time to enjoy life. He never dreamed of finishing out those nine years in another community -- until he got an intriguing offer from the city manager in Fort Morgan. The two got acquainted during meetings of the Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska, the wholesaler that provides electricity to both Delta and Fort Morgan.
"I never thought I'd leave here," Glammeyer said. "I honestly thought I was retiring from Delta, but change happens. It was just a good opportunity and it was hard to turn it down."
Glammeyer said his decision was not based on salary, "but I do look at my retirement pretty seriously. That's really important to me. One of the big draws is that they do PERA versus Social Security and that's a big deal."
He and his wife Kim are also excited to be closer to Denver, with convenient access to the theater, shopping and an international airport.
Glammeyer will serve as public works director of Fort Morgan, which is about an hour east of Denver on I-76. The community is larger, but similar to Delta with its agricultural roots. The largest employer is a Cargill meat packing plant which employs 2,000. Fort Morgan is also home to the only sugar beet processing facility remaining in Colorado.
Glammeyer will have many of the same responsibilities as he did in Delta, with the addition of a municipal airport and building inspections. In Delta he was in charge of all utilities; in Fort Morgan the only utility he will oversee is trash collection.
Glammeyer said they plan to keep their home in Delta, with a retirement goal of spending summers in Delta and winters in Florida. His mother also resides in Delta.
"Delta's home," he said. "I was all but born here."
City manager David Torgler said Glammeyer has assembled and led a great group of supervisors in each of his areas of responsibility, and he himself will be working directly with them to coordinate services until a replacement can be found.
Glammeyer started working for the city shortly after he graduated from Delta High School in 1989. After doing some drafting work for the city, he moved to Fort Collins to pursue a degree in civil engineering from Colorado State University. He graduated in 1997 and took a job with a mining engineering firm. He was on the job just four months, and growing weary of the long work weeks, when Rich Sales called about a position the city was creating for a city engineer. Glammeyer interviewed on Friday and by the time he got back to the Front Range Friday evening, a job offer was waiting on his answering machine.
Glammeyer was on the job just two years when Rich Englehart, then-city manager, changed the departmental structure and created a public works director. Glammeyer's duties expanded in that position. When Englehart resigned and Kelly Shea became interim city manager, he asked Glammeyer to serve as assistant city manager. Glammeyer was assistant city manager for four years, with two stints as interim city manager during an unstable 11-month period.
In his 24-year career, Glammeyer said he worked with 11 city managers.
With retirement approaching for utilities director Fay Mathews, Glammeyer was groomed as his replacement. Then, Justin Clifton combined both departments and Glammeyer took over both utilities and public works, with the assistance of very capable staff.
The city is in very good hands because of those longtime, hardworking staff members, Glammeyer said. He'll miss the fantastic staff, as well as fellow members of the Kiwanis Club of Delta. Glammeyer is in his second term as club president.
Glammeyer looks back on his career with the city with pride. He cites three major projects -- North Delta sewer expansion, Confluence Park/Bill Heddles Recreation Center and the truck route.
The North Delta project took years to come to fruition, but was a huge step in cleaning up the environment. During the project, Glammeyer said he saw people dumping waste in the irrigation ditches, and a mile down the road kids were playing in it. "That was a battle worth fighting," he said.
When he joined the city in 1989, one of his first projects was creating computer drawings for Confluence Park. He did some surveying and even got in a backhoe and pushed some dirt for the project.
And as controversial as it still is, the truck route is a huge benefit, he said. "It's something the people had been asking for for over 60 years and we did it right -- we asked the voters if they wanted to pursue that project and they told us yes."
While the configuration is not precisely what he envisioned, he said, "Every truck that's on the truck route is one less truck on Main Street and that's an accomplishment. The goal all along was to get trucks off Main Street and we're accomplishing that more and more every day."
Two fatal accidents occurred in Delta County within a two-day span last week.
Casey Gillenwater, 25, of Delta was killed the afternoon of Wednesday, Sept. 13, in a single-vehicle rollover on Highway 133 outside of Hotchkiss.