St. Paul Park says thanks ... officiallySt. Paul Park City Council members, department heads and administrative staff spent the evening May 2 thanking volunteers for their time, energy and talent.
By: Toni Lambert, South Washington County Bulletin
St. Paul Park City Council members, department heads and administrative staff spent the evening May 2 thanking volunteers for their time, energy and talent.
The banquet, held at Mississippi Dunes, was the brainchild of Council Member Sandi Dingle.
“Volunteers spend their time, sometimes their own money and often give up vacations to work on city commissions,” Dingle said. “They save the city thousands of dollars and this is our way of saying thanks.”
The city allowed honorees to bring a guest along to the event, a move that was not without an ulterior motive, Dingle said.
“We’re always looking for more volunteers,” she said.
Another first for the evening was special recognition of the Top Volunteers of the Year. Mayor John Hunziker presented awards to Ruth Dinger and Jim Domeier, Heritage Days co-chairs.
Special thanks were also extended to five area businesses that donated funds for the banquet. They are Marathon Petroleum, Tennis Sanitation, Anchor Bank, Mainstreet Bank and Garelick Manufacturing Co.
During the evening, department heads spoke briefly, explaining the work volunteers do for departments. Police Chief Mike Monahan said the police tend to see the criminal side of things but when volunteers get involved, they get a different perspective.
“When the community is involved, good things happen,” he said.
Monahan described the work of the Police Reserves, a group that has been in existence for about 30 years. “They are trained like the police and get into the same situations,” he said. “They spend hundreds of hours volunteering at events, especially at Heritage Days.”
Police Reserve members are Troy Kostohryz, Geoffery Kusick, Chuck Maurer, Jared McCauley, David McConnell, Michael Muiznieks, Dennis Larson, Tony Rumpca, Carmen Schackmuth, Michael Thoms and Doug Yauch.
Council Member Tim Jones introduced members of the Public Safety Commission. They are Buzz Bauman, Joe Kegley, Bill McDonough and Aaron Woodrich. He said members spend hours reviewing police and fire department activities. “This year we plan to take a new direction,” he said. “We’ll be looking at more day-to-day activities.”
Public Works Supervisor Lee Flandrich extended special thanks to members of the Public Works Commission, to the Heritage Days committee, to Tennis Sanitation for its help during Heritage Days, and to members of the St. Paul Park Athletic Association. “I hope you keep on volunteering,” he said. “It makes our job a whole lot easier.”
Public Works Commission members are Gene Anderson, Steve Lehman, Joe Long and Robert Petricka.
Members of the St. Paul Park Athletic Association are Brad Breisler, Brian Domeier, Brenda Ewy, Rick Ewy, Marshall Freeman, Steve Hirman, Lowell Holland, Dan Pennington, Bethany Tillman and Kevin Zittel.
“The athletic association has a very important place in this community,” said Council member Jones. “It gives kids an opportunity to compete and it gives us a sense of community.”
Those on the Heritage Days committee include Ruth Dinger, Shannon Dingle, Gretchen Domeier, Jim Domeier, Cheree Ebbenga, Neil Ebbenga, Rose Ebbenga, Ray Ellison, Melissa Holtan, Toni Lambert, Kurk Lee, Calvin Ontvedt, Cheri Rumpca, Sue Seaton, Cassie Schmidt, Katie Schwartz, Tammy Solberg and Michelle Swenson.
Council member Steve Hunstad, who is the liaison to the Planning Commission, said he was impressed with all the volunteer hours members serve, especially now when the city is updating its Comprehensive Plan. Planning Commission members are Steven Alfveby, Dan Dingle, Shelley Landgraf, Douglas Pierro and David Seliga.
Sandi Dingle introduced members of the Parks and Recreation Commission: Dean Barton, Nick Dingle, Tyson Schuller, Katie Schwartz and Amy Vasterling. She said the committee, comprised of all new members this year, has accomplished a great deal including complete refurbishing of Abdella Park, updating at Dingle Park, several community-wide events and upcoming development of a brand new park on the west side of town with help from Marathon Petroleum Co.
Toni Lambert can be reached at email@example.com.