Traveling Around Victoria

Thank you, Heidi Breen.  It happened on Tuesday, November 25th, the day I stopped by the Deer Run Golf Club House to snap a new photo of Tom Abts, regular columnist for the Gazette.  I accidentally locked the keys in my car with the car running.

Editor Sue

Heidi got into the trunk and pushed her feet through to flip down the back seat center console.  Then she asked Shelley Hesse, another employee at Deer Run, to bring her a long metal pole from the Club House to reach toward one of the door lock knobs.

Thank you, Shelley Esse.  Shelley maneuvered the sturdy pole, as Heidi directed from the outside, and pushed the knob up.  It all worked and I continued taking pictures in Victoria.

Laurie Hokkanen is Victoria’s new City Manager.  Her first day on the job was Monday, November 10th, 2014.  Laurie was the Assistant Manager at the City of Chanhassen.  She and her family live in Chaska.

Ben Landhauser of Waukee, Iowa, is the new Victoria Community Development Director.  Waukee is the fastest growing suburb of Des Moines which saw 300 new residential lots this year.  Ben started as an intern.  He helped develop their website, the downtown master plan, and façade improvements.  He said he and his family are willing to move to Minnesota.

The Victoria City Council and their new City Manager.  Left to right:  Councilmember Tom Strigel, Councilmember Jim Crowley, Mayor Tom O’Connor, Councilmember Lani Basa, Councilmember Joe Pavelko, and Manager Laurie Hokkanen.

The Victoria Public Works Department keeps public necessities in working order.  Left to right:  Chuck Almhjeld (Public Works Superintendent), Jeff Borg, (P.W. worker), Matt VonBank (P.W. worker), Brady Lee (P.W. worker), Ann Mahnke (Director of Parks and Public Works), Al Zellman (P.W. worker).  Missing:  Corey Scharpe (P.W. worker).

The Public Works crew currently works out of a trailer parked on the old Public Works site.  They are moving into the new Public Works Facility on Bavaria Road in December 2014. 

Scoutmaster Mark Solem brought four of his Webelo scouts to the Victoria City Council meeting on Monday, November 24th, to learn about city government.

They asked questions of councilmembers and led everyone in saying the Pledge of Allegiance.  Left to right:  Scoutmaster Mark Solem, Nate Houlsiton, Joshua Solem, Nicholas Breitling, and Kayle Yumul, all from Victoria Pack #589.

Victoria Finance Manager Kelly Grinnell and the City of Victoria were awarded the Certificate of Achievement in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association.  The award is the highest form of recognition in governmental accounting and financial reporting.

City office staff on hand at a recent Staff Meeting included (left to right) Manager Laurie Hokkanen, Finance Manger Kelly Grinnell, Executive Assistant Jessica Beise, Accounting Technician Trisha Pollock, and Administrative Assistant Nola Dickhausen.

Joining the picture that morning, Deputy Josh Baker, left, and Deputy Brady Hector, right.

Pastor Brian Dixon decided to convene an ecumenical Thanksgiving service at the Moravian Church of Lake Auburn in Victoria this year.  It’s a practice that sort of fell by the wayside in recent times. 

Father Bob White of the St. Victoria Catholic Church and Pastor Bill Bonner of Waterbrooke Fellowship were part of the service on Sunday afternoon, November 23rd.  Cookies and bars afterwards contributed to the sweetness of the event.