By Jen Bakken
At a time when shorthand was used and computers were scarce, LeAnn Zimmerman began working for the City of Delano as an administrative assistant.
After 22 years working for the city, LeAnn will retire this week. Although she was ready for retirement, the upcoming construction on Highway 12 and the possibility of having difficulty traveling to work, contributed to her decision.
In 1972, LeAnn and her husband, Gene moved from Eden Prairie and made Delano their home.
They liked the idea of living in a small town and wanted their daughter to attend school here.
They have been married for 42 years and have enjoyed their Delano home for 36 of those years.
When LeAnn first started working for the City of Delano in 1986, she took shorthand, computers weren’t used, and the population was under 2,000 people.
“The computers changed things,” remembered LeAnn. “ I used to take a lot of shorthand.”
During LeAnn’s lengthy career there were advancements in technology and with the increased population came a new city hall building.
“I think once Highway 12 comes through, Delano will grow even more than it has already,” she said.
Helping with public hearings, elections, and following up with actions from council meetings are just a few of the responsibilities she has had with the City of Delano over the years.
“I think the most fun I had while working,” said LeAnn, “was when they filmed the movie ‘A Simple Plan’ here. Everyone was so great. It was one of the highlights and we were awestruck.”
Stepping into LeAnn’s shoes will be Paula Bauman. Having worked for the city for seven years and beside LeAnn for three years, she will move to the position with some sadness.
“She’s become a great friend through the years,” said Bauman while talking about LeAnn’s retirement. “A joy to work with, and she’ll truly be missed by all her co-workers.”
As for retirement plans, LeAnn said she doesn’t have many, though she is looking forward to a trip to the Florida Keys with her husband in February.
“It’ll be nice to not have plans,” LeAnn smiled. “But I do have a bunch of pictures to put in albums that will probably take six months.”
She has enjoyed bowling since high school and will continue to do so. She is also a member of the Red Hat Society and an avid football fan.
With plans to spend quality time with friends and family, including Gene, daughter RoxAnn, son-in-law Mark Wandersee and grandson Mitchell Diers, LeAnn is sure to stay active and enjoy her retirement.
“I really enjoy working with the public,” she said. “I will miss the people and my co-workers.”
The community will miss hearing her answer the phone with her pleasant voice, “Delano City Hall, LeAnn speaking.”