STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO
GRANITE SHOALS — Dennis Maier was such a dedicated servant and leader of the city of Granite Shoals, he would spend hours at the water plant with Assistant City Manager Peggy Smith when the facility wasn’t working.
It didn’t matter that Maier, who was the city’s mayor at the time from 2011-15, couldn’t do more than offer encouragement to the employees as they worked to get the plant going.
“He’d come and sit with me all night,” Smith said. “He’d be in the control room and sit with me for support. It would be in the wee hours of the morning.”
Maier, 73, passed away at his home Aug. 7.
Smith has been working in city government since 1978, and Maier is the only mayor who sat with Smith to support the team during those water plant issues.
“If he thought he could help or be support, he was there for you,” Smith said.
Maier served the city of Granite Shoals in various capacities. He was a founding member of the Street and Water Advisory Group (SWAG) and served as its chairman, was a planning and zoning commissioner, then was elected to the City Council.
“We as a city lost a really good friend, a dedicated volunteer, and a true servant,” Granite Shoals Mayor Carl Brugger said.
City Secretary Elaine Simpson’s first interaction with Maier was when she interviewed for her job in spring 2013. Since Simpson had to answer questions about herself, Maier offered some background information on himself that included his working experience as an optical engineer in the U.S. Air Force.
“I expected him to say he was a policeman or a firefighter,” Simpson said. “He was a rocket scientist. You know how some people say, ‘It’s not rocket science.’ But, in his case, he was a rocket scientist.”
She discovered immediately some of Maier’s best traits: his intellect, eagerness to serve, discipline, even temper, camaraderie, and reliability. She believes those characteristics were fine-tuned when he served during the Vietnam War.
“He absolutely was a fantastic mayor,” she said. “He always promoted the city. It’s hard to imagine Granite Shoals without him.”
Maier’s service included helping organize city beautification efforts, Christmas by the Highway, and the city’s 50th anniversary bash. When the Falls on the Colorado Museum created an exhibit on the city of Granite Shoals in February, museum staff borrowed some of Maier’s belongings.
“He and his wife, Donna, are reliable volunteers,” Simpson said. “We’d find Mayor Maier volunteering at whatever we had.”
Granite Shoals Municipal Judge Frank Reilly said Maier was a great example of someone who simply wanted to improve their surroundings.
“He epitomized what a public servant should be,” he said. “He had no agenda except to make our community a better place to live and a better place. I am really going to miss him.”
A celebration of life service is 2-4 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 15, at Grace United Methodist Church, 4007 Valley View.