By Starrla Cray
WINSTED, MN “I would do anything for the people of this town.”
Winsted City Council Member Bonnie Quast said these words back in 2009, and it’s a statement that’s held true to this day.
Her last meeting was Tuesday, but it’s clear that her passion for Winsted will continue into retirement.
At her last work session, Quast voiced concern for the parks commission and Economic Development Authority, stating that the city should consider compensating individuals who serve on these boards. She explained that it has been difficult to accomplish needed tasks with volunteers, and a small payment might help to show the importance of the work.
“They’re all contributing to the community,” Quast said.
City Administrator Dan Tienter plans to research what other cities do, and bring the information back to a future meeting.
In the past quarter-century, Quast has been a driving force in many of Winsted’s accomplishments. Construction of a new city hall building, creation of a lakefront promenade, and recruitment of new businesses are a few examples.
Council Member Tom Ollig has served with Quast for many years, and he jokingly describes them as having a “love-hate relationship.”
“It’s been a privilege to work with you, and I wish you the best,” Ollig told Quast during Tuesday’s meeting.
Council Member George Schulenberg said he hasn’t known Quast quite as long as Ollig, but he still has several fond memories of Quast “hollering” at him.
“You probably had it coming,” Mayor Steve Stotko retorted.
On a personal level, Stotko said he’s benefited greatly from Quast’s expertise through the years.
“I appreciate you, Bonnie, being in my corner and helping me out,” he said.
A reception to honor Quast is planned for Tuesday, Jan. 17 after the 6 p.m. regular council meeting. Refreshments will be provided.