John Ranson is stepping down from his role as Archuleta County Commissioner.
Ranson, District 1 commissioner, submitted his letter of resignation Tuesday, effective April 6.
County residents voted Ranson to the post in the 2008 general election; he defeated Democrat Ron Chacey in the race. Prior to that, Ranson served on the county’s Financial Task Force, which aided the county in recovering from 2007’s financial meltdown.
In his letter of resignation, Ranson cites family reasons for his resignation, writing, “My family life should always be my top priority and it is for this reason why I am stepping aside. My commitment to this job and the County has had a personal affect and it is time to re-establish my priorities.
“Janna (Ranson’s wife) and I have been talking about it for a while and this is all about family ... and, quite honestly, health,” Ranson said in an interview Tuesday. “I’ve got the personality where I just work ... and it’s starting to wear on me healthwise. It’s starting to affect the whole family.”
Ranson stated that recent controversies concerning the Pagosa Springs Community Development Corporation (he represents Archuleta County on the CDC board), his extended role as lessor of the CDC offices, and his relationship to recently resigned CDC employee Alysha Lister (his daughter) were not the reason for his resignation, but still played a role.
“It made the decision easier,” Ranson said. “I honestly believe I would have made the decision anyway ... it sure made it easier.”
The resignation will likely end Ranson’s involvement on the CDC board, though he said it is a possibility he would finish out his term as the BoCC’s representative.
While stating that he didn’t want to give up the position of commissioner, Ranson said he believes Archuleta County is in good hands with Clifford Lucero sitting as the Archuleta County Board of County Commission chair.
“I think Clifford’s going to be a strong leader and I know he’s going to have his hands full,” Ranson said Tuesday, adding that he had seen substantial growth in Lucero’s abilities over the last three years.
The Archuleta County Republican Central Committee will appoint a replacement for Ranson, according to their bylaws.
Jim Huffman, RCC chair, said a vacancy committee will choose the appointee, who will then serve through the end of Ranson’s term (2012), at which point that person would have to run for election as any other candidate would, should they decide to do so — a factor Huffman said the committee will take into consideration in making the appointment.
Huffman said he is in contact with the Colorado GOP counsel in order to find out the specific noticing requirements for the position before a firm timeline is created, but said the position has to be filled within 10 days of the resignation becoming effective.
With the RCC preparing to fill his vacancy, Ranson said he is looking into jobs in the private sector that will allow him more free time with his family, and added that he looks back on his time as commissioner fondly.
“The past four years has, and always will be a highly valued experience in my life. I have been blessed with incredible new relationships and friends that will last a life time. It will be because of these treasures that I can walk away with a grateful heart,” Ranson wrote in his letter after thanking a bevy of county personnel and involved citizens.
Ranson regards his role in rebuilding the county’s reserves after the financial meltdown as one of the accomplishments he’s most proud of, saying the county is now in a position to weather any further storm.
Ranson also counts other financial work among his top accomplishments — work such as switching the county from being partially self-insured to being part of a statewide county insurance pool, and stopping compensated absences at the county.
On the other hand, Ranson said there was one thing he wished he could be involved with from a county standpoint.
“I’m disappointed that I’m not going to be here to at least pursue the big box,” Ranson said, adding it was a “critical component to keeping revenue in Archuleta County.”
Ranson’s final meeting as commissioner will be at 5:30 p.m. on April 5 in the commissioners’ meeting room in the courthouse.