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Neighbors, colleagues gather to honor city’s ‘most visible’ resident

 

Last updated 12/15/2017 at Noon



It was somehow appropriate that the second item on the agenda for the City Council meeting this week included a scheduled recess to recognize retiring member Donna Michelson for nearly two decades of service to the city.

Mayor Pam Pruitt invited the public to join councilmembers for refreshments after each member of the council praised their colleague for her dedicated service to the city of Mill Creek.

“Whether she was out for her daily run or just interacting with residents of the city while she was out and about, Donna has been the most visible representative of the city,” Councilmember Brian Holtzclaw said. “She has been the heart and pulse of Mill Creek.”

Holtzclaw estimated that Michelson attended 627 council meetings over her tenure, not counting her role on various boards and committees, including her role on the Arts and Beautification Commission. He added that Michelson “set a high bar” for Jared Mead, who was elected in November to replace her in Position No. 2 on the council.

Mead will be sworn in at the first council meeting of 2018.

Councilmember Mark Bond led off the chorus of accolades with a tribute to Michelson’s pledge to put community first. Vince Cavaleri said Michelson will leave the council—and the city—a better place than when she took office in March of 1999.

Mike Todd, who has sat adjacent to Michelson during their time on the council together, said Michelson has “outlived” a city manager, a police chief and a public works director during her nearly 19 years on the council.

“She has always been open-minded and took the responsibilities of her office seriously,” Todd said, while presenting Michelson with a framed collage of photos from her time on the council.

Pruitt said Michelson will be remembered fondly for “serving with joy.”

Neighbors and friends echoed their admiration for Michelson during the public comment portion of the evening. State Rep. John Lovitt remembers Michelson taking a break from her morning run to be the first to welcome him to the Brighton neighborhood.

“Everybody who knows Donna admires Donna,” Lovitt said. “But what’s more impressive is that Donna knows everybody.”

The lawmaker said he would have driven across several states and through a snowstorm to be part of the evening honoring his friend.

---Dan Aznoff

 

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