Fort Atkinson Officials Receive Citation of Merit

August 9, 2010

I’m delighted to be able to share with you that Fort Atkinson’s city manager and the city council (of 2009) have been awarded Wisconsin Library Association’s Citation of Merit award for 2010.

The library board made the decision to make the nomination for this prestigious award as a way to publicly recognize the city’s important role in the library’s expansion and renovation project.

Over the course of the years we’ve been working on this project, city manager John Wilmet’s assistance and experience have been absolutely critical.   His willingness to prepare the city financially was important.  It allowed the project the ability to put together a funding package with a distribution of costs without undue hardship on any one segment.  His experience with fundraising was invaluable.   His support allowed early donors to feel secure in the viability of the project.  John has been through building projects before and is a great resource.  He never appeared to tire of my endless questions.  (He deserves a medal for that.)  John is well deserving of public recognition and thanks for his efforts which went well beyond the call of duty.

City council members deserve thanks as well.  Members participated in planning workshops and asked great questions every step of the way thereby ensuring that the library board and staff always did the necessary homework.  Their role as elected officials is a very important one.

The library board is well aware that philosophical support of a library is easy.   Saying, “I support our library and its important role in our community,” is a relatively safe statement for an elected official.

However, saying “yes” when the approvals were needed and keeping a commitment despite an economic downturn were the actions that allowed the project to move forward.  The forward-thinking leaders of Fort Atkinson deserve to receive statewide recognition for their commitment to Fort Atkinson’s well-being through their support of our library project.  They have set an example for other communities throughout Wisconsin.

Congratulations all on this well-deserved honor!

One comment

  1. Some people have the notion that objective forces shape history but the right person in the right place at the right time can often change the course of history. I want to thank John Wilmet for his quiet strength and leadership. He created an atmosphere of hope, perseverance and foresight with regards to the library project. The city council members didn’t miss a beat under his example and together they helped forge a positive outlook for the people of this wonderful city whom they so faithfully served. Thank you all.

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