Meeting in person for the first time in a more than a year, Stillwater City councilors sat at the dais with a where a small crowd gathered in council chambers on Tuesday, June 1 in City Hall.
City Hall also opened for in-person services on Tuesday as well.
To kick of the return to in-person meetings, Mayor Ted Kozlowski issued three proclamations: The first declared June 2 as Julie Kink day; the second declared June 3 as Wally Abrahamson day and the third proclaimed June 4 as Len Nelson day.
Kink has an extensive resume serving on city boards. She has worked as the recording secretary for the Stillwater City Council and the city’s planning, heritage preservation; downtown parking, parks and recreation and human rights charter commissions, according the mayor’s proclamation.
“At age 8, Julie lost her brother, a young soldier in Vietnam, but later found her calling as an advocate and resource for Gold Star families, like hers, whose fallen service member died while serving in a time of conflict,” the proclamation state. “She is a founding member of the Family Contacts Committee, a volunteer group that helps veterans and families of the fallen connect with each other to share their memories.”
Kink attended the meeting via a screen through zoom. The other two proclamations were made for prominent community members who died recently. Len Nelson founded Len’s Family Food that is still operating at the corner of Myrtle and Owens streets. Nelson died on May 5 a few days after working a 10-hour shift at the store.
Mayor Kozlowski had only great things to say about Nelson’s store.
“It’s one of the most beautiful stores in the valley,” Kozlowski said. “You just don’t have these happy little places like we do.”
For the last proclamation the mayor came down from the dais, to read the proclamation with Abrahamson family members nearby.
Abrahamson was elected to the Washington County Board in 1992, was Stillwater mayor for six years and police chief for 18 years.
He served as police chief before serving on the civil boards. He grew up in Duluth attend for high schools and was kicked out of everyone, according the mayor’s proclamation. Because of his trouble as a teen his parents signed him up to enlist in the Navy after graduation.
Kozlowski remarked that he shared some similarities with the former police chief as Kozlowski was kicked out of two high schools. Abrahamson went into law enforcement because of “own early brushes with the law as a teen,” the mayor’s proclamation states. “Although there wasn’t much money, Abrahamson secretly bought holiday meals, winter coats and boots for families in need, before there were so many other charitable organizations. He was always a big contributor to the Salvation Army. He always found a way to give to others.”