Parting words from several Eau Claire County Board supervisors varied from succinct thanks to longer reflections on years of public service and lasting friendships.
Last week marked the last meeting for eight supervisors — five who opted not to seek re-election and three who lost to challengers on April 3 — and they had a chance to give their final words as elected officials.
Doug Kranig, who has represented District 3 since 2012 and opted not to run again, went out with a quip about term limits.
“A wise man once told me that supervisors, like diapers, should be changed — and for the same reason,” Kranig said.
Mike Conlin, who lost his District 10 seat to Nancy Coffey, simply said “thank you” when he got his turn to talk.
Longtime District 9 Supervisor Gordon Steinhauer thanked fellow supervisors and staff for their work during the more than three decades he spent on the board. He lost in the recent election to newcomer Donald Mowry.
Mark Olson said he knew after he retired as an Eau Claire firefighter and went into local politics, it wouldn’t be a long-term process.
After a stint on the City Council and now four years on County Board, Olson said he felt comfortable stepping down, especially with a neighbor, Melissa Janssen, taking his District 25 seat.
David Mortimer, who lost his District 16 seat to Lydia Boerboom on April 3, said his two years as supervisor have been an “amazing” learning experience and he felt privileged to serve.
Kathleen Clark said national politicians could learn a thing or two by watching how the county conducts its business.
“I think Congress should come and witness this County Board at work because it shows you can have differing opinions and still get things done — important things,” she said.
Clark, who opted not to seek re-election to the District 13 seat she’s represented since 1992, then spoke about the friendships she developed and intended to keep with fellow supervisors.
“You people have helped me get through some really rough times in my life,” she said.
Chairman Gregg Moore, who remarked earlier in the meeting that he got a little choked up knowing he was presiding over his last meeting, called his 14 years on the County Board a very positive, great experience.
He added he is grateful to his constituents of District 17 for electing him and to all those he’s worked with at the county. Moore opted to not seek re-election.
Supervisor Katy Forsythe, who did not run again for her District 7 seat, did not attend the April 4 board meeting.