One last meeting
Rugby Mayor Dale Niewoehner and City Attorney Mark Butz have spent many a Monday evening at Rugby City Hall.
Too many to count.
The last one, however, came on June 7 as the pair is retiring from public office.
Niewoehner has served 30 years in public office, including the past eight years as mayor. Prior to that, he spent 16 years representing Ward Two on the city council and 16 on the Rugby Park Board.
Butz has been city attorney since 1990, and prior to that, served a term as mayor from 1974-77.
Niewoehner took a few minutes at the end of the meeting to reflect on his many years of service and encourage present and future elected leaders to continue to work diligently to serve the community and meet the challenges that lie ahead.
He will miss working with fellow elected officials and city employees and said he’s grateful of the many people he has gotten to know while serving in city government.
He also has great respect for those who have served alongside him, acknowledging it’s not an easy position to fill.
“Occasionally, we don’t even all agree, but when the vote is cast the members come together for the common good,’ he said. “I have sat in this chair for eight years listening to you make and debate sometimes very difficult decision for the city of Rugby. You have suffered the consequences of your votes from time to time. However, right or wrong, you voted as you saw fit. You did your job.”
Butz said one of his favorite memories of practicing law was always his association with the city of Rugby and its governing body.
“I have enjoyed it immensely, but it’s time to move on,’ he said.
The two were recognized for their service to the community at the conclusion of the meeting, receiving American flags that were flown over the U.S. Capitol at the time both men began serving in city government.
Both also received a round of applause from council members, city employees and the public who were in attendance.
Their experience and wisdom will be missed, says Gerry Jacobson, ward two councilman.
“It’s hardpressed to find someone who put in more time and effort in the office of mayor than Dale,’ Jacobson said. “Every day he was involved in city matters. He took his role seriously, as did Mark. Whenever the city needed him, he was there.”
Bruce Rheault, ward one councilman, said both did a lot of great things for the city and it’s difficult to replace that experience.
“I have just a ton of respect for both men,’ Rheault said.
Their departure does leave a void in terms of knowledge of city government, but it also represents an opportunity for others to fill those positions and serve the community.
Butz and his wife, Diane, plan to move to Las Vegas later this year.
Niewoehner will continue to operate his funeral home and be active in the community.
The council also acknowledged the work of two outgoing council members. Monte Schneibel, ward four councilman, is leaving the council after serving his ward for 15 years. He was currently the longest serving councilman. Brossart, who represented ward one, is stepping down after one four-year term.
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