Grob to seek Pitkin County commissioner seat |

Grob to seek Pitkin County commissioner seat

Janet Urquhart
The Aspen Times
Aspen CO Colorado
Darryl Grob

ASPEN – Former Aspen Fire Chief Darryl Grob is the first candidate to announce a bid for the Pitkin County commissioner seat in District 4.

The Snowmass Village resident confirmed Sunday he will be circulating nomination petitions to put his name on the November ballot for the seat that will be vacated by incumbent Jack Hatfield. Term limits prevent Hatfield from seeking re-election, ensuring the election of a new face on the five-member Board of County Commissioners.

The seats currently held by Commissioners Michael Owsley and George Newman are also up for election in November. Both incumbents have confirmed they will seek re-election.

Grob, 66, said he is making his first bid for public office after others in the community suggested he considering running for the post. He asked roughly three dozen people what they thought of the idea.

“The response and support was very enthusiastic,” he said.

A native of the East Coast who grew up in California, Grob said he moved to Aspen from Los Angeles in the summer of 1976 after visiting a friend here. After two weeks in Aspen, he went home, packed his Volkswagen camper van and moved to town, he said.

Grob worked in construction and, in 1980, joined the Aspen Volunteer Fire Department. He served in various posts, including volunteer chief, before he was hired in 1995 as the department’s first paid chief. He remained in that role until late 2010. He has since done consulting work for the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office on wildfire issues related to the county’s updated Emergency Management Plan, and he drives a school bus for the Aspen School District.

“My whole life has really been in some fashion a steward for the community,” Grob said. “I think this gives me an opportunity to continue as a steward of the community.”

Though the election is not until November, this year’s campaign cycle gets under way early, as Colorado has moved up the date of the primary to June 26. Nomination petitions became available late last week for commissioner seats. They must be submitted between April 9 and April 20. A primary will be held only if a seat attracts more than two candidates.

With the election so far off, Grob said he is in a listening phase – hearing what voters have to say on issues that concern them.

The topics have ranged from oil and gas development in the Thompson Divide area outside Carbondale to the development of new facilities at the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport, which are now in the planning stage.

“Something has to happen (at the airport), … but the questions of how much, how big and how much money – those are real concerns,” he said. “I think I’ll bring a fresh look to all these things. I think I’d do a good job.”

Grob has been a Snowmass Village resident for 10 years. He lives at Fairway III Townhomes, a Pitkin County worker-housing complex, with his wife and 12-year-old daughter.

He has established a website – – for his campaign. He described the site as a work in progress. A candidate committee, Grob 4 BOCC, also has been registered.

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