I was able to attend Wednesday’s (Feb 28) farewell event at Rochester City Hall for Gary Neumann, who has done more for this city in the past 30-some years than most people realize. But that’s the way he wanted it as he preferred working behind the scenes and had tons of patience. I called Gary the architect of numerous undertakings: flood control, local sales tax projects, Mayo Civic Center expansion and the cherry on top of them all - DMC. I had numerous off-the-record conversations with Gary before and during the legislative battle to authorize DMC and I was amazed at the scope of the initiative and also came to understand what it really meant for the community. Several people spoke at Wednesday’s event of Gary’s accomplishments and low-key approach to his job. Among the speakers: his former boss Steve Kvenvold, former city council members Darrell Strain and Mac Evans, recently retired city attorney Terry Adkins and local businessman John Wade who was able to present Gary with some choice tickets and goodies from the Minnesota Twins (Gary is a baseball nut), including a bat signed by Tony Oliva. Also at the event were former Mayor Hazama, DMC officials and many more. Gary thanked all who attended and then invited them for cheers later in the day. It was a nice event for a guy who loved this city more than most people ever knew.  Enjoy your retirement, Gary!

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