City Hall Ribbon Cuting ~ 2015


It was Monday, February 9th, 2015, a cool evening in the bleak midwinter, calm and collected, not boasting or blustery, no high winds, only gentle conversation and applause at every turn.

The new Victoria City Hall was completed.  Office staff moved to the new digs in January 2015.  It was  now time for Flag Raising, Plaque Dedicating, Ribbon Cutting, Cake and Camaraderie, and the First City Council Meeting to be held in the new building.

Beth Fasnacht (Interior Design/Brunton Architects), Todd Meyhoff (VP/Director of Business Development/Brunton), Rick Stucki (Victoria resident), Don Uram (Finance Director at City of Wayzata), Laura O’Neill (Cornerstone Insurance, Victoria), Tom Workman (Carver County Commissioner).

On the way outdoors for the Flag Raising.

Victoria Fire Chief Andrew Heger wasn’t really a doorman that evening, but his courtesy in opening doors for others begged a photo.

Rick Stucki visits with Jim and Eiko Hoffman also residents of Victoria.

Cadette Girl Scout Troop 12813 prepared to take their position for the raising of the U.S. Flag.

Tom Gray, Victoria Building Official, helped little Rachel Strelnieks, a Victoria Daisy Girl Scout, raise the City of Victoria Flag.

Both of the Carver County Commissioners who represent Victoria spoke briefly to the crowd.  Randy Maluchnik (left) represents Victoria residents who live south of Hwy 5.  Tom Workman represents Victoria residents who live north of Hwy 5.

Then it was time to unveil the Bronze Plaque in the foyer of the new City Hall.  Do you see that it is covered with paper and green tape?

The honors went to Todd Meyhoff, Vice President and Director of Business Development for Brunton Architects who won the bid last year to design and engineer the new City Hall.

The plaque lists the five current members of the Victoria City Council.  L-r:  Tom Strigel, Lani Basa, Joe Pavelko, Mayor Tom O’Connor, Jim Crowley.  The plaque also names former Victoria City Manger Don Uram and identifies Brunton Architects and Engineers and also Stahl Construction, the construction manager.  The plaque reads:  “City of Victoria City Hall and Carver County Library, Dedicated to the Community, February 2015.”

Former Victoria Mayor Jerry Schmieg and his wife Gerda exchanged greetings with current Victoria Mayor Tom O’Connor.

Tim Auringer, left, project manager with Brunton Architects and Engineers, spoke to councilmembers and audience about the successful project and his pleasure to work with the City of Victoria.

He pointed out other significant people on the project including Dale Sonnichsen, above, with the sports jacket, who was the Superintendent and Construction Manager on the project for Stahl Construction.

Then it was time for the ceremonial Ribbon Cutting.  Lori Anderson with the SouthWest Metro Chamber of Commerce helped get the ribbon in place.

The five city councilmembers had the job.  Ready, set, cut!

I got it!

Then there was a second Ribbon Cutting with City Staff.  Ready, set, cut!

I got it!  Left to right, that’s Cara Geheren (City Engineer), Kelly Grinnell (Finance Manager), Jessica Beise (Executive Assistant), Mayor Tom O’Connor, Tom Gray (Building Official) …

Behind Tom is Nola Dickhausen (Administrative Assistant).  Holding the ribbon is Jennifer Kretsch (City Clerk), then Ben Landhauser (Community Development Director), and Laurie Hokkanen (City Manager). 

The first Victoria City Council at the first Victoria City Hall constructed to be a City Hall one hundred years after incorporation:  Joe Pavelko, Tom Strigel, Mayor Tom O’Connor, Jim Crowley, Lani Basa.

Keeping an eyes on things — Jennie  Kretsch and Don Uram.

A little while later Jennie is in the Audio Visual room checking on digital proceedings.

The Cadette Girl Scouts were invited by the City to serve some of the fancy cake to guests.

L-r:  Alyssa Owens, Regan Anderson, Sophia Strelnieks, Kenzie Bins, and Sydney Weinandt.  They were under the guidance that evening of Troop Leader Rachel Anderson, mother of Regan. 

Some of Mayor Tom O’Connor’s family came for the occasion, including wife Cathi, daughter Meghan and her husband Paul, and their children Ryan and Maura.

Maura tried out her Grandfather Mayor’s seat.

The children of Councilmember Lani Basa — Kelalani and Kyle — also attended the festivities.

Lori Anderson (SW Metro Chamber), Councilmember Pavelko, Commissioner Workman,

Victoria Firefighter Brady Lee and Victoria Building Official Tom Gray.

A contingent of Victoria firefighters checked out new City Offices just across the hall from the Council Chambers.  L-r:  Chief Andrew Heger, Ryan Rivers, Rick Leuthner, Jason Hukriede, Mike Mulheran, John Diethelm, and Dusty Anderson.

Carver County Commissioner Tom Workman, left, and Terry Hartman, a principle in many Victoria developments including the Clock Tower Building, the Lakeside Building, and the anticipated Downtown Building on the former Johnson home property.

The Girl Scouts led everyone in saying the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of United States of America.

John Giere, a bus driver for Positive Connections and Eastern Carver County Schools, was presented an award from Victoria Fire Chief Andrew Heger for quick thinking in helping a choking child on the bus.

Council continued work that was begun 100 years ago on behalf of the residents for their health, safety, and welfare.  Victoria was incorporated in 1915.

As I left the city council meeting that evening in February 2015, I looked back and saw a city that was shining bright for its residents.  It was another Victoria beginning.

Editor Sue