NORTH MANKATO —
Long-time North Mankato City Administrator Wendell Sande is retiring, effective May 31.
“I’m really proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish the last 16 years,” Sande said, as he made his announcement at the end of Monday night’s City Council meeting.
Sande, 62, said “it was the right time” to to retire. “Being here as long as I have, this is doubly difficult.”
Sande, who had earlier informed the council and department heads of his plans, was praised by Library Director Lucy Lowry, who read a letter from department heads.
“We hold you in the highest regard,” she said. “Wendell is the coach of the sports team that everyone wants to play for.”
Sande recited a string of accomplishments in the city: restoring Spring Lake, expanding Caswell Park including a planned soccer complex, development of Benson Park, construction of the recycling center, expansion of the water treatment plant, construction of Taylor Library, the Police Annex and a fire station, and “a tremendous number of years of growth” in the industrial park.
“One of the things most gratifying is, thanks to our police and fire personnel, we have a safe place to live,” Sande said.
Bob Knutson, a long-time member of the Port Authority, the city’s economic development arm, praised Sande for growth in the city.
“I can tell you, from an economic development standpoint, on both sides of the river, Wendell Sande has had the most success on economic development as anyone .... no one else is even close.”
After the announcement and accolades, Sande shook hands with a number of people as he wiped away tears.