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After 20 years, Ady Wickstrom bids Shoreview council farewell
Some elected officials are looking forward to settling back into their seats come January, others are anticipating their first terms, while a few are probably feeling the way Ady Wickstrom is.
After two decades on the Shoreview City Council, Wickstrom says it feels like home. Even so, she’s decided it’s time to wrap up her civic work, and as 2016 comes to a close, a new chapter will open for Wickstrom: retirement.
Technically, Wickstrom, 65, says she retired from her professional career back in 2010, after spending several decades working as a systems programmer at Deluxe Corporation in Shoreview, then nearby at Fair Isaac Corporation, and more recently at the League of Women Voters of Minnesota.
Just because she left her career, however, didn’t mean she slowed down. In fact, her colleagues describe her as a “very hard worker” and a “driving force” on the city council.
Wickstrom says she’s always tried to devote sufficient time and energy to her elected position, an effort made easier when she shifted to working part time at the LWV, and even more so in recent years.
Council member Terry Quigley says Wickstrom’s success was due to a combination of preparedness, willingness and interest.
“Ady’s council performance has benefited from her intense study of each city issue, her interest and participation in a variety of government organizations and a focus on water, environment and governance,” Quigley says. “The council will miss Ady’s input.”
According to Quigley, Wickstrom’s opinions were “always well researched and relevant, and never contentious.”
And Mayor Sandy Martin agrees.
“She’s one of those council members who’s always prepared. She’s always read her packet and ready for the meeting,” Martin says. “And you can always count on her to know the surrounding facts before she comes to the meetings.”
Both Quigley and Martin say Wickstrom has played a significant role in the development and management of Shoreview’s parks and trails over the years.
And in a recent interview, Wickstrom agreed that, in large part, she has focused on the city’s parks and trails, explaining she cares deeply about the environment and sees green and open space as an important asset for any city, including Shoreview.
Wickstrom grew up in a Chicago suburb and her family moved to Minnesota when she was a teenager. After graduating from high school in Faribault, she attended the University of Minnesota, earning a bachelor’s degree in business with a concentration in information systems, analysis and designs.
It was landing her job at Deluxe that first brought her to Shoreview nearly four decades ago. It was her commitment to bettering her community that has kept her there, she says.
“More than anybody, this has been her life,” Martin says of Wickstrom’s efforts for Shoreview. “The city greatly benefited from her, because she’s cared so much about her community.”
According to Martin, Wickstrom has served on various boards and committees “above and beyond what was expected of her.”
“She’s always been willing to serve on so many different auxiliary committees at both state and regional levels, and volunteering to work on policy at the Capitol,” Martin says.
Wickstrom also had a hand in encouraging Martin to run for mayor back in 1996. Martin, who had been on the council for a number of years before that point, wasn’t planning to run for the city’s top elected position and was looking forward to taking some time off to travel.
“But at the last minute, she really helped convinced me that I should run for mayor,” Martin says, noting that Wickstrom even offered to run her campaign. “I’ve always appreciated all her support and working with her.”
Before becoming a city council member, Wickstrom served on the Shoreview Environmental Quality Committee for eight years and for five of those years she was also on the Bike and Trail Committee.
“I enjoyed working on those committees,” Wickstrom says. “Once in a while someone would say I was looking at too big a picture, so eventually I thought, well then, maybe I should be on the council,” she says with a chuckle.
Jesse Poole can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 651-748-7815.