CALUMET, Mich. (WLUC) - Paul Lehto has been Calumet Townships Supervisor for the past 46 years, starting in 1972 shortly after the mining industry left the area. He left the office Friday for the last time to get started on his retirement.
"Back in '72, things started to go downhill pretty much, people were moving away looking for jobs and the former supervisor was retiring. Some of the guys just said why don't you run for the job," said Lehto
Over the course of his long career he acted as a mentor and a friend to those who were working with him.
"It's been wonderful, we are definitely a family here. I have learned so much from him he is a wealth of knowledge. He doesn't hesitate to teach us anything we need to know or anything we ask of him," said Beth Salmela, the Township Clerk.
"I've lived up here all my life, so I've worked with him at other places where I've been employed. I've known him a long time and yes he does know a lot about the area, and we are definitely going to miss him," added Fay Johnson, the Township Treasurer.
Lehto said he is going to miss working with the people in his office, as well as working on projects to better the township of Calumet.
"I enjoy the people and the company involved, but I really enjoyed working on projects. Everything in the Calumet Colosseum has been a project, and all of Swedetown Recreation is a project," said Lehto.
The Township Supervisor position will be given to Tim Gasperich by the Calumet Township Board of Directors.