Community expresses its sadness
Tom Crosby has submitted his letter of resignation from his position as Mayor of Medina, saying that his health does not permit him to continue, according to Medina City Administrator Scott Johnson.
Acting Mayor Liz Weir, Saturday, April 13, said that the Medina City Council would accept his resignation with regret at its Tuesday, April 16 meeting. And the city is continuing to face issues that require a mayor’s leadership. She expected the City Council to choose a successor for Crosby at the end of its meeting.
Early in March doctors diagnosed Crosby with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. He is in a clinical trial that has included weekly chemotherapy sessions. Writing on his Caring Bridge website, family members have said that each time he has a chemotherapy session, it takes longer for him to recover.
As press time for this newspaper approached on Monday, community members and other people who have known and worked with Crosby expressed their sadness and appreciation for his dedication to Medina.
“I’m just coming to grips with this,” said City Administrator Johnson. “Tom is just an incredible leader. He has such integrity. We’re going to sorely miss him as our mayor. I wish him and his family nothing but the best. I’m keeping him in my thoughts and prayers.”
Medina voters re-elected Crosby and Weir last November to their respective mayor and city council seats. “Apart from serving my community, one of the reasons that prompted me to run again was the privilege of serving with Tom,” Weir said. “I think Medina has been very fortunate to have six years of quality leadership under Tom. He has brought to being mayor integrity, financial sophistication, a way of bringing people together and flashes of impish humor. I deeply regret his resignation.”
“He is a loss,” she continued. “He already has set Medina on a strong path, and for that, I think the city is very grateful. Our job as a city council is to continue the legacy he brought to Medina.”
Now that Crosby is resigning, Medina needs a find a successor who can bring knowledge, experience and continuity of leadership to the position, Weir said on Saturday. The new mayor will need to be up to speed on issues facing the city.
“I am still Acting Mayor,” she continued. “I want the decision on the mayor decided by the City Council.” She expected the council to select a mayor from within its ranks and then look at members of the Planning and Parks Commissions to find a new city councilor.
“We have a lot of depth on the two commissions,” Weir said.
This newspaper asked for comments about Tom Crosby from present and past members of the Medina community. Here are a few of them.
Shorty Dorweiler, C.E.O. of Farmers State Bank of Hamel: “Tom’s service certainly has been appreciated. He has always been very passionate about the city of Medina. Everything he did he felt was in the best interest of the city of Medina and the Hamel area. It will be difficult to replace him.”
Carolyn Smith, city council member for eight years, many of them under Mayor Crosby: “He has been a true public servant, a master mediator, also a gentleman. I think that’s important. When he has solved a problem, I think people have felt it was a win/win. The city is better for it.”
Chad Adams, Albert Lea city manager, who served for eight years as Medina city administrator: “I am deeply saddened by this news. Tom has been a great mentor for me and others, particularly when it comes to integrity, civility, and visionary leadership. Those are the words that come to mind when I think of the influence Tom has had on my career and for the Medina community.”
He continued, “As a growing community, Medina has faced a lot of challenges these past several years. Most of those challenges have been deliberated in the public forum at Council meetings. Because Tom has a great gift of controlling the tone of a meeting, he’s been able to keep the discussion focused primarily on the policy issues, while delicately balancing the emotional responses from the citizenry. I have taken those lessons of civility into every meeting that I am either leading or am involved in daily. I have a great admiration and respect for Tom. My thoughts and heart go out to Tom, his family, and the Medina community as Tom receives his treatment.”
Mike McLaughlin, president of Lake Independence Citizens Association, Medina’s representative on the Pioneer Sarah Creek Water Management Commission: “Tom has been extremely supportive of water quality issues. He set a respectful tone at council meetings and the lake association could always count on him.”
Phil Zietlow, former Medina mayor and hockey team mate of Crosby’s: “We have been good friends for many, many years,” Zietlow said. Crosby served on the Planning Commission and encouraged Zietlow to do the same. Then Crosby helped Zietlow get elected as mayor.
When Zietlow left office, he encouraged Crosby to run for mayor. “Tom was a natural choice to bring people together,” Zietlow said. “He never had a personal agenda. Tom has been super, super wonderful for the city of Medina.”
Zietlow added, “Tom has a great positive spirit. Stage four cancer is a really scary business. He’s in a clinical trial. The numbers look good. He knows he can beat this. He can beat this thing. I’m pulling for him all the way.”
Crosby and Zietlow have played senior hockey with former Governor Wendell Anderson for a number of years. “I’m pulling for Tom doing the hockey thing in the future. I’m guessing he’s just jumping up and down today because Yale (his alma mater) won the hockey championship.”