Six city of Edina employees retired in the second quarter of 2021.
Centennial Lakes Park General Manager Tom Shirley retired April 29 after serving the Edina community for 30 years. On July 30, 1990, he began working for the city of Edina after moving back to Minnesota to be closer to family. He was hired as the assistant manager of Edinborough Park and Centennial Lakes Park, which were coupled for management purposes at that time. In 1993, Shirley became the general manager of both and led operations for 16 years.
The operations separated in 2006, and Shirley chose to continue managing the facility that kept him outside – Centennial Lakes Park.
Assistant Fire Chief of Operations Jeff Siems and Fire Marshal Rick Hammerschmidt retired from the Edina Fire Department.
Siems, who retired May 3, gave almost 30 years to the city and served as acting fire chief in the months leading up to his retirement. He started his fire service career during his time at college in Mankato, where he got his paramedic certification. He then interned with Hennepin County and landed his first full-time job in 1988, with the county’s ambulance service.
Four years later, Siems arrived in Edina, where he worked his way from the ambulance to the fire truck and ultimately to the roles of assistant chief and fire marshal.
Hammerschmidt retired June 25 after spending four years at the city and 36 in fire service. Hammerschmidt grew up in Bloomington and started his career in the fire service as a paid-on-call firefighter in Eden Prairie.
He then spent 10 years there as a full-timer, spending time as a fire inspector and lieutenant. An opportunity for a deputy chief/fire marshal position opened in Golden Valley. He came to Edina two years later.
The Edina Police Department saw three longtime employees retire, including Police Chief Dave Nelson, Police Lt. Tim Olson and Police Officer Tom Mason.
Nelson retired June 4 after more than 32 years in law enforcement, having started as a police officer with the city of Edina in 1991. After thinking he would have a career in sales, he began thinking about a career in law enforcement after taking a few classes he found interesting in college. He served as Edina’s chief of police for 7 and a half years.
One of his earliest impacts on the department was holding the department’s first School Resource Officer position – an early indicator of his innovation and leadership skills, the city press release said.
Mason started with the city in 1989 and retired June 30 with 30-plus years under his belt.
Mason ranked first in seniority among the city’s patrol force before his departure.
Another police long-timer, Olson, started with the city in 1994 and retired May 28. He credits the bonds formed with his coworkers as well as the Edina community for a successful career in law enforcement.
He began his career in law enforcement after he found the corporate sales world unfulfilling, the press release said. He spent time working in Crystal as well as the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office before settling into Edina.
For more information about city staffing, contact the Human Resources Department at 952-826-0364.