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Niewoehner served with a great deal of professionalism

June 18, 2010
Matt Mullally

A few years ago Rugby Mayor Dale Niewoehner received a scathing letter from a disgruntled visitor passing through town who took issue with the poor service he encountered at a local business, the ugly condition of another as well as some other nasty observances of the town.

Why did this letter get addressed to Niewoehner?

He was the mayor.

Serving the public often means getting raked over the coals now and again. Even when it's undeserved.

However, that goes with the territory and Niewoehner understood that when he entered public office 30 years ago.

Of course, he saw the many positive things he could help accomplish by serving and that trumped the occasional phone call from an upset resident or a nasty letter from a disgusted tourist.

Niewoehner's tenure will come to an end this week, wrapping up quite an impressive run of years serving the public.

He was elected to the park board and city council prior to being mayor the past eight years. He especially brought a great deal of professionalism and attention to detail to that office.

He presided over the council meetings with eloquence. He also was conscious to allow the council ample time to discuss important issues as well as allowing the public an opportunity to voice their questions, concerns and suggestions at the meetings.

He also took his role as city ambassador seriously. He was there to welcome state and federal dignitaries to town, introducing them at community events. He was available to give welcome speeches to many organizations and groups that held conventions, events and meetings in the city. He regularly gave tours of City Hall to school children and talked about the important role the city government plays in each of our lives.

He was responsible for securing the city's designation as a Tree City USA and has coordinated annual Arbor Day observances. History was very important to Niewoehner and he went to great lengths to make sure historical pictures were placed inside City Hall, including portraits of past mayors of which are displayed in the council chambers. He's ridden alongside police officers on night shifts to get a better acquainted of their duties as well as visited with the other employees regularly to learn their responsibilities.

And yes, he's taken his share of criticism from residents and visitors, but always responded with respect and class.

As Ward Two Councilman Gerry Jacobson recently said - "It's hardpressed to find someone who put in more time and effort in the office of mayor than Dale."

Indeed, Niewoehner took his duties seriously and made sure he remained well informed of the issues facing city government and within the city departments.

Of course, that was his job.

And he did it well.

Thanks for your service, Mr. Mayor.

 
 

 

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