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County bids farewell to recorder

Douglas County Commissioner Owen Miller presents Dawn Crouse with a plaque for her years of service to the county. Crouse is retiring after more than 40 years working for the county. (Celeste Edenloff / Echo Press)

Recorder Dawn Crouse was recognized for her years of service at the Dec. 18 Douglas County Board of Commissioners meeting.

Crouse, who began her career as the deputy recorder and abstractor in May 1976, has been the county recorder since January 2007. She was elected the previous November and served three terms. She will retire as of Dec. 31, and on Tuesday was presented with a plaque by the board chairman, Owen Miller.

Each of the commissioners thanked Crouse for doing a great job and for her commitment to the county for the past 40-plus years.

Plaques were also presented during the meeting to the two outgoing commissioners, Miller and Jim Stratton. Miller presented Stratton with his plaque while vice chairman Keith Englund presented Miller with his plaque.

After the presentations, Miller thanked the department heads and employees and said he enjoyed his time working as a commissioner. He also thanked the other members of the board, both past and present, and gave a special thank you to county coordinator Heather Schlangen for all her hard work.

Near the end of the meeting, Stratton said, "As a parting shot, I do believe we need to do a survey of the county employees. There's been nothing but crap from the media, smoke and mirrors, about how disgruntled the employees are. But we've never truly asked what the hell is wrong."

Stratton said it would be a disservice to not survey the employees and see just how many are actually unhappy. He believes there is probably only 10 percent who feel that way and said, "What about the other 90 percent?"

Englund, who said a survey needs to be done but that the county needs to dig into it a little more, made a motion to table the discussion until after the new year. His motion was approved by a vote of 3-2, with both Stratton and Miller voting against it.

Two new commissioners, Heather Larson and Tim Kalina, were voted in this past November and will take their ceremonial oath of office at the Jan. 8 meeting, which is the first meeting of the new year.

In other action

Several items were approved at the meeting, including the following:

• Request for proposal for the construction of a mountain bike trail at Lake Brophy County Park.

• Request for proposal for the planning and design of the visitor center at Lake Brophy County Park.

• Bids for remodeling a portion of Lakes Area Recreation into office space for Social Service, including carpet, painting, electrical, fire protection, cubicles and workstation cabinets.

• A bid for electronic/digital information signs to be placed in the courthouse.

• Filling a vacancy for a Veteran Services driver.

• Increasing notary service fees from $2 to $5.

Celeste Edenloff

Celeste is a reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press and has lived in the Alexandria Lakes Area since 1997. She first worked for the Echo Press as a reporter from 1999 to 2011, and returned in June 2016 to report on the community she calls home. Besides writing articles for the Echo Press, she has a blog, “Newspaper Girl on the Run.” Celeste is on a continuous healthy living journey and loves to teach bootcamp fitness classes and run. She has participated in more than 200 races with her husband, Al, covering the 5K, 10K, 10-mile and half-marathon (13.1 mile) distances.

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