This wouldn’t be the first time I’ve ever written to thank city councilors and/or mayors who were not re-elected to new terms.
But I thought it was important to do so again when these elected officials give so much dedication to the job.
Martin Waters is a highly visible mayor for Hanover. He began service on the park board and then went straight to the top in winning election as mayor. Waters had a difficult task when two sitting council members (Wendy Pinor and Chris Kauffman) and a popular volunteer and Hanover business owner (Joe Kaul) each competed for this seat, which was ultimately secured by Kauffman.
Waters and his wife, Vonnie, have contributed countless hours of volunteering for the benefit of their city and community. Each could be seen rallying the charge at all kinds of city events, from the summer festival to the annual Caroling at the Bridge. And each is very instrumental in maintaining communication with me at the paper, alerting me to all kinds of upcoming events and sharing photos from such events.
Martin Waters was also a very visible presence representing Hanover with all kinds of community meetings outside of Hanover, whether at mayor forums, or advocating for the St. Michael Senior center. He also demonstrated great leadership in forging partnerships to make the new St. Michael-Albertville-Hanover Library a huge success.
He handled Hanover’s representation on the St. Michael-Albertville-Hanover Joint Powers Water Board, helping urge the board to someday have Hanover’s name on a water tower.
I’m sure I’m forgetting other services Waters has contributed to, but trust me, there are many.
Another face on the Hanover council who won’t be there after losing election was Dave Malewicki. In watching him on the council for many years, I came to respect his manner of getting things done.
Malewicki is one of those “no bull” kinds of leaders. He clearly knows Hanover so well, including volunteering on the fire department, serving as an emergency responder, and working in the community for his construction business. Malewicki knows Hanover, he knows how to get business done, and he was clearly respected by his peers.
In Corcoran, current councilor Roz Milbrandt lost her bid for re-election. It should not go without mention what a professional, courteous and friendly person Milbrandt was for the council. And she was very generous in donating thousands of dollars to the city to help beautify the public space behind city hall.
Milbrandt might look like a nice lady, and she is, but she was also an effective leader who clearly did her homework and deliberated with the best interest of Corcoran in mind.
Like I’ve said in the past, I’m of the opinion that these good leaders weren’t “voted out.” There are all kinds of reasons new people are voted in, but I think, most of the time, it has to do with supporting other candidates versus not supporting incumbents.
Case in point, I wrote similarly about Joe Marx in St. Michael years ago when he was voted off the council. Guess who just secured a second stint on the St. Michael City Council? You guessed correctly, Marx.
I’d like to and do encourage others to thank Waters, Malewicki and Milbrandt for a job well done. They volunteered their time to help effectively lead their cities, and their efforts should be noted.