Janesville59.9°

Sheiffer attends last council meeting

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MARCIA A. NELESEN
August 26, 2008
— Steve Sheiffer said goodbye Monday at what will likely be his last council meeting as city manager.

Sheiffer is due to retire Friday, Sept. 5, although he may act as a consultant at times through the end of the year if called on by the council.


Sheiffer began working for the city May 4, 1987, and said he served with many fine council members and dedicated employees.


“I can wholeheartedly say that I feel our work together has resulted in Janesville being a great city,” he said.


Using a sailing analogy, Sheiffer said a person cannot change the direction of the wind but can change the set of the sails. In times of turbulence, Sheiffer said the sails could be changed to strategically meet the goals and challenges to do what was best for the city.


The city met the challenges because residents worked together, he said.


Sheiffer said his task was to provide leadership and vision and not bow to special interests or show favoritism.


Being city manager is a lifestyle, not a job; a passion, not an avocation, he said.


“Being city manager will consume you and your entire family at all times,” he said. “You must be prepared to give your total effort and stand on your values, ethics and integrity.”


As examples of his accomplishments over 21 years Sheiffer cited:


-- A population of 63,500 people.


-- Thousands of new jobs. Economic, industrial, and residential growth, now on the south and west sides as well as on the northeast side.


-- More services at a lower cost than comparable cities.


-- A revitalized downtown that includes the Armory, Marshall Apartments and YMCA.


-- Special projects such as Rotary Gardens, CAMDEN Playground, Peace Park, bike trail, Youth Sports Complex and Riverfront Strategy.


-- The remodeled Hedberg Public Library, senior center and City Hall. Expansion of the wastewater treatment plant, water utilities and landfill.


-- Two new fire stations and two additional ambulances. A new police station, bus transfer center and City Services Center.


-- The Highway 11 bypass and Reuther Way.


-- Twenty-six TIF districts resulting in 5.2 million square feet of new construction and $166 million in new property valuation from companies that received TIF assistance employing 5,900 workers.


Sheiffer said he was particularly proud of two events:


-- The “no smoking” ordinance, which Sheiffer said took courage to make Janesville a leader in protecting residents.


-- Results of the 2004 referendum, in which voters by a large margin maintained Janesville’s council/manager form of government.


“The community believed in professional local government,” Sheiffer said.


Sheiffer thanked the community for allowing him to serve its residents and for everything that was accomplished, “only possible through our combined efforts.


“The time has come for me to chart a new course,” Sheiffer said, saying that he will now have time to sail, relax and “enjoy what we have accomplished in Janesville.”



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