Council issues proclamation honoring Mayor Tom Stiehm

The Austin City Council issued a proclamation honoring Mayor Tom Stiehm during its regular meeting Monday evening.

Monday’s meeting was the last for Stiehm as Mayor of Austin. Councilman and Mayor-elect Steve King read the proclamation aloud during the meeting.

The proclamation highlighted key accomplishments during Stiehm’s 14 years as mayor. Those accomplishments include:

• Phase I and Phase II of the Hormel Institute;

• Community projects such as Vision 2020 and the relocation of the Spam Museum to Downtown Austin;

• Bridging the gap between long-term Austin residents and new Austin residents;

• Community improvements such as the Austin Community Rec Center and new Jay C. Hormel Nature Center Interpretive Center; and

• The extension of municipal sewers to over 1,000 acres and 200 homes.

The Austin Human Rights Commission also recognized Stiehm’s role in making Austin a welcoming city.

Stiehm was recently honored by the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities with the Jack Murray Award for his excellence in service to Greater Minnesota. The Jack Murray Award is given to city officials who demonstrate knowledge, leadership, and active participation in CGMC program areas over their public service career.

The award is named for former International Falls Mayor Jack Murray, who was instrumental in the CGMC’s formation.

“Whether it is LGA, economic development, housing or the environment, there is no issue that is important to Greater Minnesota communities that Mayor Stiehm hasn’t been involved in,” said Greg Zylka, mayor of Little Falls and president of the CGMC. “With his plainspoken demeanor and dry sense of humor, Mayor Stiehm has been able to advocate for CGMC priorities in a way that few other city leaders can. His passion for his city and the state of Minnesota has benefited the CGMC and rural communities in numerous ways.”

“This is the best thing I’ve ever done in my life,” Stiehm said. “It’s made me a different person, it’s made me a better person. It’s going to help me lead a better life.

“I thank everybody. You’ve all been a part of that.”