Tuesday, May 26, my wife Cheryl and I watched the Chanhassen City Council meeting from our living room.

Given the current environment, the council chamber was not stacked with people. But for a few residents, most the council, sat in a lonely place.

After a few moments, the mayor ceremonially announced the presentation of plaques/awards for those Chanhassen residents who donated so many hours of service as members of those various commissions that do so much of the city’s heavy lifting.

This particular set of presentations were different in a very eerie way. When Cheryl and I received our thank you, we had family and friends present to give us an extra pat on the back. But this time around there was none of that.

These folks who have given so many hours, and have made such a big impact on the city, showed up to receive their awards from our elected officials who are sitting in an empty house

I watched a senior resident walk up to the mayor and, with the aid of a cane, accept her plaque after donning mask and gloves.

A Navy veteran who single-handedly built the city’s veteran monument, donating his own money and time, got his plaque after the mayor recited a litany of his additional contributions.

Despite the passing of her 101-year-old World War II veteran dad just days before that evening, another one of Chanhassen’s best received her list of accomplishments and a plaque.

None of these people have received much fanfare. Most residents do not know the sacrifices they have made and the numerous hours they have given to improve our city.

These Chanhassen residents donate their time and expertise in a quiet and unassuming way. Their payment is only in large quantities of gratification they get from being in that club that does not just “talk the talk but walks the walk.”

So, as I have said so many times in the past, Chanhassen residents, take interest in what’s going on at City Hall.

And if you want to stretch a bit, step up and join the ranks of these residents; examples of the best of who we are.

  • Barbara Nevin, Senior Commission (2006-2019)
  • Meredith Petouvis, Park & Recreation Commission (2017-2020)
  • Rachel Popken, Environmental Commission (2017-2020)
  • Keith Butcher, Environmental Commission (2017-2020)
  • John Tietz, Planning Commission (2015-2020)
  • Mark Undestad, Planning Commission (2005-2020)
  • Carol Buesgens, Senior Commission (2007-2020)

Bob Ayotte is a Chanhassen resident and a former Chanhassen city councilor.


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