Longtime city planner plans retirement
By Kitty Conley email@example.com September 4, 2012 12:56PM
Curt Graves, Crown Point's Director of Community Development, announced his retirement at the end of 2012. | Jeffrey D. Nicholls~Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 4, 2012 12:56PM
CROWN POINT — Curt Graves, director of Community Development plans to retire at the end of 2012.
“That is my intent if the city extends my insurance to cover me until I am old enough for Medicare,” Graves said.
Mayor David Uran announced the planned retirement on Aug. 29, and said building and planning administration would be restructured.
Graves will have served as city planner for nearly 27 years by the end of this year. He helped guide the city from being a sleepy small community to a flourishing city.
Elected officials have come and gone but Graves brought stability to the planning department, serving there since Jan. 20, 1986.
Previous to his coming to the city there was a laissez-faire attitude to the construction of streets, the location of utilities, as well as restrictions on how buildings, be it commercial or residential, were built.
Graves quietly took steps to make sure that no one cut corners.
Former city Mayor James Metros was saddened to hear Graves is leaving city administration.
“Obviously when I was mayor of Crown Point for 12-years, we saw tremendous growth without a tremendous staff. It was because of Curt Graves. He wore many hats; he even went out and did inspections. He will be sorely missed. I consider Curt not just a former employee but a friend,” Metros said.
While all decisions are made in the political arena, be it at the City Council level, or the Plan Commission or Board of Zoning Appeals, the influence of Curt Graves is present. He reminds them what their own rules and regulations or that of the State of Indiana may be.
And expert he is. Before coming to the city Graves had been at the building department at Lake County since the early 1970s, according to Ned Kovachevich, the current director. Kovachevich said he learned a lot working for Graves.
While all of the zoning and building has or is currently being put online, a computer search for something will never be as fast as just asking Curt. It is all in his mind and he not only can tell the facts as on a computer printout, but also the reasons and decisions that were made that got those decisions made.
Uran said Graves’s title will be eliminated. There will no longer be one person that runs the Building and Development office. It will be split into two positions — Planning Administrator and Building Administrator. Neither will be considered a department head.