When I think about the handful of important events that have shaped my adult life, all I can say is this: I’m a lucky guy. I was the luckiest man on the planet when my wife, Patty said “I do” on May 25, 1985. I would not trade a single minute of our 30 years together for anything. I would do it all over again. My good fortune continued with the birth of my two children. Mitchell came into this world on Feb. 19, 1991 and Amanda on Dec. 7, 1993. They were great kids and are great young adults now and have made me proud every single day to say that I’m their Dad. I have been lucky to experience the unconditional love for them that I believe only parents can truly feel. So, being a husband and father are the two greatest things I have ever done. The next greatest thing that I have ever done was when Patty and I bought The Platte County Citizen newspaper on Aug. 2, 1998. I had been working for the previous owner, Paul Campbell, for three years and had been the managing editor of The Citizen for more than one year when I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time. Owning a newspaper was a lifelong dream and the fact that I was able to achieve that in the town I grew up in made me all the more proud. The past 16 years as the owner of this newspaper have been fulfilling, satisfying, rewarding and exhilarating. At times it has also been exhausting, demanding and frustrating. But the one constant during that gamut of emotions is that it was mine. My name was in capital letters. Everybody has an ego and mine has been stroked over the years by that knowledge, that feeling that I was in complete control and that what I was doing mattered. That’s going to change, effective next week. If you read our front page this week, you know that Patty and I have decided to sell the newspaper and our commercial printing business to Will Johnson and his son, Adam Johnson. The Johnsons are publishers of the Mound City News in Northwest Missouri. The sale will take effect July 3 and comes on the heels of a change in leadership at The Citizen that I set in motion with the hiring of managing editor Ross Martin earlier this month. To those of you who know me personally and have talked to me in recent months, this probably does not come as a total shock. It’s been in my head for a year or so now that my run as Citizen owner/publisher/editor/delivery boy was coming to a close and some conversations I have had with folks the past several months probably reflected that. There are many reasons that factored into my decision, but the simple truth of it is that after nearly 25 years in the newspaper business — and all the nights, weekends and constant running that entailed — I’m ready to downshift a bit. This doesn’t mean that I still don’t enjoy my job. I do, but just not as much as I used to. And if there is one thing I have learned in my career it is this: you better be 100 percent committed to the newspaper business or it will chew you up. Plus, it’s always been my philosophy that as a community journalist, anything less than 100 percent is shortchanging readers and the community. That said, I just feel that the time is right for somebody else to take the reins at The Citizen. And, while the new owners possess many years experience of publishing community newspapers and are good guys, to boot, that person will be Ross. One of the main reasons I didn’t pull the trigger on a few deals that were offered me earlier is because I could not answer this question: what’s going to happen to The Citizen? Who is going to be the next me? Who is going take care of the business that I remade not once, but twice and that my family worked hard on for the better part of two decades? When I hired Ross, that question was answered. He’s one of us. He knows that The Citizen’s reputation has been built on our belief that being there with boots on the ground is how you cover a community. He knows that you can't sit in your house in another state and Tweet and Facebook and call it journalism. Also, it has not been lost on me that this scenario with Ross is similar to when I bought the paper 16 years ago — the whole local guy coming back home thing. It all seems like it was meant to be and I’m fortunate that I’m able to make this move on my own terms. And I haven’t even got around to talking about The Citizen’s hardworking staff, who will continue on intact with the new ownership, or this great community and the people who make it an awesome place to live and do business and our wonderful readers who have allowed me to be a part of their lives for so long. I’ll get to that next week, in what will be the grand finale (at least for the foreseeable future) of this column. Until then, thanks for reading and for making me feel like a very lucky man. Lee Stubbs is owner/publisher of The Citizen. He may be reached by e-mail at email@example.com or by calling 858-5154. Follow him on Twitter @leejstubbs.