Longtime jail employee retires after 30 years

Published 6:49 pm Tuesday, June 14, 2022

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Mower County said goodbye to a long term Mower County Jail employee Tuesday morning during the Mower County Board of Commissioners.

After three decades with the jail, Program Coordinator Mary Davidson is retiring and was honored for her work during those 30 years.

“One thing — I’ve worked with Mary for 17 and a half years,” said Mower County Correctional Services Director Steve King. “She is one of the most creative minds. I’ve really appreciated working with Mary. I’ve always appreciated how she presents herself. She’s always positive and she doesn’t seem to have a bad day and that’s unique.”

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Davidson’s fingerprints can be found throughout the jail as she has worked to increase programming at the jail and was part of the committee that worked on the changeover from the old jail at the Law Enforcement Center to the new jail across the street.

Mower County Sheriff Steve Sandvik said that her work was noticed in the lives she’s helped change during her time.

“I want to thank you for your dedication on all fronts,” Sandvik said. “When I came here the jail was different … Watching the wheels turn and how she grew programming to what it is; this truly is one of the best programmed facilities in the state.”

Meanwhile, Jail Administrator James Brown noted that to spend 30 years in corrections, specifically working in a jail, can be challenging, especially these days when jails and law enforcement are dealing with challenges on all fronts.

“In today’s climate, 30 years is a milestone,” Brown said. “It’s almost unheard of. She’s been a pillar in the organizational structure of the jail. Happy retirement.”

For her part, Davidson turned to those colleagues who were on hand Tuesday morning and spoke directly to their own efforts as a reason she was able to accomplish her work.

“We laugh, but in the jail we really deal with tough things and it’s because of these guys I’ve been able to go for 30 years,” she said. “I want to thank all of you for helping me. I couldn’t do this without your support.”

In other news:

• Commissioners have set a day and a time for the annual property auction. This year there will be 18 properties, plus two that have carried over from last year up for auction. The auction will be held at 1:30 p.m. on July 27.