Official to step down: Road Commission director to retire

ESCANABA – Delta County Road Commission Managing Director Rob Van Effen has announced his plans to retire.

Van Effen, who has held the managing director position since April 1, 2008, plans to leave his post sometime this fall. As the managing director, Van Effen is responsible for overseeing the entire 886 miles of county roads in Delta County. Prior to his work as managing director, he was the assistant manager at the road commission for approximately three years.

Van Effen said the reorganization of the road commission over the years factored into his decision to retire.

“At this point, with the reorganization moving along so well and so fast, it was a point that people were stepping up, ready to move up, and it financially didn’t make sense for the board to pay me another full year of wages and benefits,” he said.

Van Effen said he will miss the road crew, office staff, mechanic staff, and working with the Board of Road Commissioners.

“They work very well together and for how small our staff is this group gets an extraordinary amount of work done,” he said. “The current board is an outstanding group and it has been a true pleasure for me to work for them.”

He also expressed his thanks to the Delta County Board of Commissioners, County Administrator Nora Viau, courthouse employees, City of Escanaba and City of Gladstone Public Works departments, township supervisors, and local MDOT personnel for their efforts on improving local roads.

Delta County Board of Road Commissioners vice-chairman Dennis Stanek said Van Effen’s presence will be missed.

“Prior to considering running for the election (to the road board), I did some investigative work and I looked into the road commission, the status, the personnel, and I was very impressed with the job Rob was doing,” he said.

“He’s been an excellent leader. He’s always kept us informed. He’s given us good information and background which I feel helped us make sound decisions and we’re going to miss him,” Stanek added.

Former road board member Rory Mattson, who served under Van Effen’s management for more than four years, said he was one of the most outstanding workers he has ever met.

“Personally I’m very happy for Rob and his retirement but at the same time I think the county is losing a great manager,” said Mattson, who noted Van Effen devoted a lot of extra time to his work.

Delta County Commissioner Dave Rivard, who serves as a liaison between the county board and road commission, noted Van Effen is extremely knowledgeable about roads and road commissions and has been a valuable asset.

“He’s very loyal and dedicated to the road commission and his employees,” said Rivard. “He’s the type of guy that certainly goes the extra mile any time and every time.”

County Board chairman Tom Elegeert echoed Rivard’s comments.

“I think he’s done an outstanding job while he’s been in charge,” he said. “I think he kind of oversaw some difficult times with the road commission and he will be sorely missed.”

Van Effen said he has no immediate plans for retirement aside from spending time with his family and grandchildren and doing some traveling.