There were flowers on display in the La Crosse city council chambers on Thursday night to honor two people retiring from the council this month.
It was the last regular meeting for Andrea Richmond and Scott Neumeister, who both represent north La Crosse neighborhoods. Richmond has been on the council for 23 years, and wished “a thousand thank yous” to the people she has served with.
“It’s been an absolute honor representing the 1st District of the city of La Crosse,” Richmond told the council. “I thank my constituents for their confidence and support in me over these 23 years, serving with six mayors.”
“I had no idea when I first took out papers,” she said, expressing surprise that she has served so long.
Tamara Dickinson was elected last week to succeed Richmond, who did not seek reelection.
Neumeister also didn’t seek reelection, instead focusing on running and winning a race on the La Crosse School Board, after six years on the city council. His 2nd District council seat will be filled by Erin Goggin.
“It’s not an easy task” serving in public office,” Neumeister said at the meeting. “Social media beats on you, you upset half the people and you make the other half happy, and you change lives.”
Mayor Mitch Reynolds, formerly a WIZM News reporter, recalled when Neumeister first got on the council. Reynolds phoned him for a story.
“I told him who I was, and I wanted to ask him questions about something,” Reynolds said. “He said ‘Oh, no, WIZM is calling. I must have done something wrong.'”
Other council members commented on Neumeister’s sense of humor and upbeat attitude toward city business.
Their sendoff included a video with comments from past and present city leaders, including former La Crosse mayors John Medinger and Tim Kabat. The six council members elected this month, including four incumbents, will be sworn in for their terms at a special meeting next Tuesday.