EDITORIAL: A well-deserved retirement and an important next step

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Government officials face a lot of scrutiny from the public because they have to make decisions that involve taxpayer dollars and infrastructure used by thousands each day.

They need to walk a delicate line of smartly spending money while keeping the public's best interest in mind. This job leads to tough decisions that can leave a number of people unhappy.

The amount of work required in such a position and being under the public eye constantly is likely a stressful proposition and takes an unflappable individual.

The City of Blair clearly had one of those in City Administrator Rod Storm, who gave notice of his retirement in December. Storm is on his 34th year of service with the community and has spent more than 50 years as a public servant. Discussions regarding Storm's decision yielded comments that the typical lifespan for a city administrator in one community is typically five years or fewer. While his career might have involved decisions that upset others, Storm's dedication to the community and willingness to spend the majority of his life working to help Blair into the future is commendable.

At the Jan. 10 City Council meeting, the council approved a search committee to find Storm's replacement. Storm's retirement notice stated that he was stepping away in the spring in order to give adequate time to find his replacement. This is an important detail and one we hope the city follows since the scope of the City Administrator's position is so wide and new factors are added every year. The city must be diligent in finding a replacement in a timely manner. Rushing the decision or not having someone in place by the time Storm leaves could put Blair behind the 8-ball in a time of change and growth for the city.

Finding someone with 50 years experience to fill the position likely won't be possible, but a well-executed first step is important given new industries and massive infrastructural improvement projects on the way.

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