By Ivan Raconteur
WRIGHT COUNTY, MN The Wright County boardroom was much more crowded than usual Tuesday morning as friends and colleagues gathered to mark the retirement of Sheriff Gary Miller.
Sheriff-elect Joe Hagerty presented a brief overview of Miller’s long career in law enforcement, which began in August 1974.
Miller rose through the ranks, and in 1996, he was recognized as Wright County’s employee of the year for changes he made in the sheriff’s department.
Miller, who has often joked about putting a politician in front of a microphone, used what may have been his last public appearance as an elected official to reflect on the office he has held so long, and the county he has served.
“The 12,950 days I have been in law enforcement, and the 3,849 days since I was sworn in as sheriff went by fast. It was a great career,” Miller said.
He added that, in law enforcement, “Every day is an adventure, and every day brings an opportunity to make a positive change in someone’s life.”
Miller also acknowledged the sheriffs for whom he worked.
He said Sheriff Darrell Wolff taught him the importance of customer service and acting like you care, and Sheriff Don Hozempa taught him how to run a large and professional law enforcement organization.
Miller said the members of his department serve their citizens well, and have a “what can we do to help?” attitude.
He also acknowledged the citizens of Wright County.
“It’s a real honor to serve the citizens,” Miller said.
Later in the meeting, Gloria Gooler of the auditor/treasurer’s office administered the oath of office to Hagerty, who will take over as sheriff upon Miller’s retirement at the end of the year.
Corinna Township agreement approved
The board approved a joint powers agreement between the county and Corinna Township.
The agreement is the culmination of extensive negotiations between the two parties, and will allow them to provide coordinated planning and zoning services, building and sewage treatment code administration, and shoreland management administration within Corinna Township.
The agreement is subject to final review by attorneys for each party.
Odds and ends
In other business, the board:
• appointed Barb Gabrelcik county recorder, effective Dec. 14. She has been working as county recorder since July.
• postponed refunding of the county’s Series 2001A bonds, which had been scheduled for Dec. 14, until Tuesday, Jan. 11.
• acknowledged Chase Philippi and Keith Triplett of the assessor’s department, who recently earned the Accredited Minnesota Assessor designation from the Minnesota State Board of Assessors.
• repealed the county’s tattoo and body piercing ordinance, effective Jan. 1, 2011, when the new Minnesota state law regulating body art takes effect.
• appointed Dr. Quinn Strobl Wright County Medical Examiner for 2011.
• re-appointed Lawrence Bauman to the board of adjustment, and re-appointed Gordon Weber and George Bakeberg to the planning commission.