BAXTER -- Brainerd Mayor James Wallin crossed city boundaries Tuesday to pay tribute to a fellow mayor who will be leaving his position in January.
At Tuesday's Baxter City Council meeting, Wallin presented Baxter Mayor Gary Muehlhausen with a plaque honoring Muehlhausen's six years service as mayor.
"I've enjoyed the friendship and fellowship I've had with Gary," Wallin said. "It has been an honor and privilege to serve with you, Gary."
"What can I say?" responded Muehlhausen, who described Wallin as a mentor. "Thank you, from the bottom of my heart."
Before presenting the plaque to Muehlhausen, Wallin approached the council podium and jokingly told the council members he brought a petition for orderly annexation -- a contentious issue between the cities in 2000.
"And we accept your city," Council Member Darrel Olson shot back with a smile, which elicited laughter from those attending Tuesday's meeting.
Though he will no longer be mayor, Muehlhausen will remain on the council after winning one of the two open council seats in the Nov. 2 election. Olson was elected to the mayor's seat.
In other action, the council:
* Presented Barb Wells, who will be leaving the council in January, with a letter of commendation and a plaque honoring her 12 years service as a Baxter City Council member. "It's been an honor and a privilege to serve with you," Muehlhausen said.
"This has been one of the most cohesive council's we've had. I appreciate that," said a tearful Wells.
* Accepted a proposal from Community Growth Institute to finish the city's comprehensive plan at a cost not to exceed $9,200.
* Accepted grant donations from Wal-Mart for $1,125 and CenterPoint Energy for $2,000.
* Set interviews at 6 p.m. Jan. 12 for the community development director position.
* Approved hiring Clayton Barg as a full-time police officer.
* Assigned Ann Hunnicutt, Baxter police officer, to the Lakes Area Drug Investigative Division on a temporary basis, pending a formal agreement between the Crow Wing County Sheriff's Department and the Brainerd Police Department.
MATT ERICKSON can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5857.
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