Willmar City Administrator Michael Schmit is retiring today after a long 37-year career as a public employee. Schmit always kept the city as his "first priority" and it shows in the many things that make Willmar an "All-America City."
Under Schmit's management, Willmar has planned, developed and completed many projects, which are the envy of other Minnesota cities. Among those projects are: a downtown bypass, public TV access, a joint law enforcement center, a new airport, a new wastewater treatment facility, the baseball stadium, an aquatic center and the library expansion.
Schmit organized the partnership presentation that helped Willmar gain recognition in 2005 as an All-America City, which is recognition of the strong and vibrant city Willmar has become.
Some city citizens and council members have not been Schmit fans. That was often because Schmit put what was best for Willmar first, not what was best for any one person's agenda. He was often right.
Schmit knew how to develop the city department heads and staff and let them do their jobs. He knows how to gather the necessary information and formulate a fact-based recommendation for the council. Frankly, he has been a strong administrator for the city during periods of change and growth over the past two decades.
During his tenure, the city continued and improved its financial strength, while maintaining its low tax ranking amongst similar-sized cities in Minnesota.
Schmit has also played a positive role in maintaining strong relationships and developing strategic partnerships with Kandiyohi County and the Willmar School District.
Through Schmit's management, Willmar is well-positioned for the future. We thank him for his service to this fine city and wish him the best in the future.