(Editor’s note: The "People in Our Neighborhood" profile highlights residents in the Champlin Dayton Press coverage area who serve their communities as volunteers or activists. If you know of someone who should be profiled, please contact Mindy Mateuszczyk at 763-424-7358 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Robert J. Thiel
HOMETOWN: Hibbing, MN (Once a Ranger, Always a Ranger)
YEARS IN CHAMPLIN: 21 years
FAMILY: Spouse, Jerri, Daughters, Kelli, 19 & Kassi 16
EMPLOYMENT: Clear North Technologies, Plymouth, MN as a Computer Network Engineer
DESCRIBE YOUR CURRENT VOLUNTEER EXPERIENCE:
I’ve volunteered to the City of Champlin as a Planning Commissioner since 2002. The Planning Commission meets the 3rd Monday of every month to serve as an advisory board to the City Council concerning planning items such as building zoning variances, land use and neighborhood planning. I’ve volunteered as a youth softball coach since 2000 for "Elm Creek" and "E&J Rebar" as well.
WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO VOLUNTEER?
I have always been concerned with the shape, form and direction of our City of Champlin and when there was an opening on the Planning Commission, I submitted an application. Our esteemed former Mayor Boynton appointed me to the Commission and I’ve been there since.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST?
I get a great deal of satisfaction serving the people of the city by helping to maintain and improve our city’s structural environment.
WHAT MAY PEOPLE NOT BE AWARE OF
Surprisingly to me, most people don’t know that the Planning Commission and other commissions in the city are appointed, all-volunteer groups. None of us get paid to serve and we’re not elected.
MEMORIES THAT WILL STICK WITH YOU
The chance to work with and meet so many people from so many walks of life that all share residence in our city will stay with me forever. Serving on a group like this lets you see the passion and visions that others have for the city and you find out that on the whole we pretty much all want the same thing, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
HOPES FOR THE COMMUNITY
I want a prosperous, thriving, clean and self-sufficient city. I hope that we can continue to climb out of the current economic slump and grow our own city’s economy, fill our vacant buildings with local small businesses and develop the spaces that we have into mutually agreed upon, useful enterprises.