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Thanks to outgoing public servants

THUMBS UP: This is the time of year when lots of public servants whose terms are ending are attending their final meetings, casting their final votes, shaking hands and heading off to the sunset. We’d like to take this opportunity to saygoodbye to them and thank them for their service.

Some of them have already left office. New Ulm City Manager Brian Gramentz served for 17 years before being offered a severance package for whatever reason, and left in mid November. He served the city very well. New Ulm Police Chief Myron Wieland retired at the end of October after a long law enforcement career in New Ulm. We wish him a happy retirement.

Brown County Sheriff Rich Hoffmann is also retiring after deciding not to run for re-election. Thank you, Rich, for your services. Brown County Fifth District Commisisoner Dennis Potter also decided to leave the county board this year. We know the folks in the western part of the county appreciate the job he has done.

District 88 School Board Chairman Duane Winter has gaveled his last meeting to order after 12 years on the board, nine as board chair. His loss in the District 88 election in November ends a distinguished term of service.

A lot of big shoes have been left to fill, and we are fortunate that so many willing and able candidates have stepped forward to fill them.

New Year’s Eve

THUMBS UP: It has almost become a cliché to wish people a Happy New Year while asking them to celebrate responsibly. Fortunately, whether is is because of stepped up enforcement, public education programs on drinking and driving, the push to have designated drivers and the increase in taxi services and special shuttles, New Year’s Eve celebrations have become safer over the years. Whatever the reason, we’re glad more people are taking care to get around safely during this special holiday. Congratulations, and Happy New Year to all you celebrants. And please, celebrate responsibly.