Scott Newberger, utilities manager for the City of Plymouth, received the Public Works Superintendent of the Year Award from the Minnesota Chapter of the American Public Works Association (APWA) in November. Other award recipients were Beverly Farraher, metro district maintenance engineer, Minnesota Department of Transportation, Roseville; Jeff Streeter, traffic services supervisor, Minnesota Department of Transportation, Golden Valley; and James Grube, director of transportation, Hennepin County, Medina. These individuals were selected based on exemplary public service within their respective communities by a panel of their peers in a 2013 statewide call for nominations. All nominees were highly deserving of the honor, as all met the awards criteria for nomination. Lee Gustafson, director of engineering for the City of Minnetonka and president of the Minnesota Chapter of APWA, noted that public works officials often perform their public service duties quietly and without public recognition, and he congratulated the nominees and winners for their outstanding work.
The City of Madelia won the top honors in the city category in the 2013 Local Government Innovation Awards in December. Madelia won for a project designed to transform wastewater treatment ponds into natural habitats for pheasants, water fowl, and deer. The awards—sponsored by the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota in partnership with the Bush Foundation, the League of Minnesota Cities, the Association of Minnesota Counties, and the Minnesota School Boards Association—recognize local governments in Minnesota for innovation and creativity. As the top winner in the city category, Madelia will receive a $10,000 grant from the Bush Foundation to continue its work, and a professionally produced video to use in sharing its experience with other local governments. Other city category winners for 2013 include the cities of Crookston, Coon Rapids, and Brooklyn Park (joint nomination), Albert Lea, Minneapolis, and Morris.
Read more about the Local Government Innovation Award winners
Bonnie Cumberland, Brainerd city councilmember, passed away on Feb. 3 at the age of 67. City leaders and staff were shocked and saddened to learn of her unexpected death. Cumberland was first elected to city government in 1990 and served as mayor through 1998. She again ran for office in 2006, and had been alderman-at-large since that time. She was appointed council president effective Jan. 1, 2013.
"Bonnie’s death is a tragic loss to the city," says City Administrator Theresa Goble. "She was a friend, mentor, and guiding light to all who came in touch with her. She was so excited about the city’s projects and future endeavors while at the same time gaining experience from the past. She loved her community and all who lived in it. She was a genuine example of selfless dedication to her community and friends. She will be missed!"
Phil Cohen, former mayor of Brooklyn Center and past president of the League of Minnesota Cities, passed away on Nov. 3 at the age of 85. Known as “Mr. Brooklyn Center,” Cohen was mayor of that city from 1965 to 1977. He’s a member of the Brooklyn Center Hall of Fame and he has a room named after him in the recreation center. In 1972 and 1973, as LMC president, Cohen led the League through a critical time as the University of Minnesota cut its ties with the League. LMC leaders today give Cohen a great deal of credit for helping the League get through that crisis and emerge a stronger organization. Cohen is preceded in death by his wife Beverly. He is survived by his children, Deborah (Richard) Schultz, Stephen (Annette), Nancy (Gary) Anderson, and five grandchildren.
Brenda Cossette, human resources director with the City of Fergus Falls, passed away on Dec. 16 at the age of 59 after a car accident. Cossette was the chair of the League’s Human Resources and Data Practices Policy Committee for the past two years. Prior to chairing that committee, she served as vice-chair and she has also served on numerous other League committees and task forces. Cossette served as the human resources director for the city of Fergus Falls for nine years and also served in human resources roles for the cities of Fargo, Moorhead, and Detroit Lakes. She was an active member of the Society for Human Resource Management. In 2008, she testified before the U.S. Congress as an expert on the Family and Medical Leave Act. Cossette is survived by her husband, Ken Cossette, and her son, Matthew.
Mayor Gary B. Revier of Redwood Falls passed away on Dec. 20 at the age of 67. Revier became the youngest person to ever serve on the Redwood Falls City Council when he was 23. He later went on to be the youngest person ever to serve as mayor of Redwood Falls, and served multiple terms. Revier served in several public positions in the community, including school board member, Chamber of Commerce director and president, bank director, and public utilities commissioner. He was also widely known as Redwood Falls’ historian and often shared his vintage photograph collections and presentations. Revier is survived by his wife, Nancy, and several children and grandchildren.
Source: Redwood Falls Gazette
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