Nearly five decades later, Kvenvold says goodbye to Rochester go - KXLT - Fox 47 Rochester MN News, Weather, Sports #rochmn

Nearly five decades later, Kvenvold says goodbye to Rochester government

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX 47) -

All good things must come to an end, including roles of leadership.

Stevan Kvenvold, Rochester City Administrator since 1979, retired on May 31st.

And before his role as administrator, he was the assistant to to the administrator, meaning Kvenvold has dedicated 47 years of his life to Rochester government.

But before there's time to dwell on a Rochester government without him lending a hand, first must come the party.

Hundreds gathered at Mayowood Stone Barn on Tuesday night to celebrate the legacy of Rochester government legend, Stevan Kvenvold.

He's been a major force in the city.

"It's like going to the encyclopedia botanica, which I don't know if anyone knows about that anymore," said Rochester Mayor Ardell Brede.

For 47 years, Stevan Kvenvold has leant his voice to decisions regarding issues facing the city and more.

"Even though I'm older than him, he's like a grandpa that you'd go and ask for advice and support. And, the wisdom," added Mayor Brede.

He's taken the reigns for major initiatives, including flood control, fire station upgrades, revitalization of downtown, and restoration of the Chateau Theater, all amidst the chaos of a changing city.

"Ringling Brothers Circus stopped the week before, 146 years. He's only been 47, but he's seen plenty of circuses while he's been in office," joked Mayor Brede.

During his tenure, Kvenvold has seen five different mayors and five different city council presidents.

He's also witnessed before his eyes the growth and transformation associated with Destination Medical Center, in which he played a major part.

"The downtown has become a little more revitalized and i really enjoy that and the role i played in bringing around hat revitalization,” said Kvenvold.

But now, that command is retreating, and it's time for the 73-year-old to move on to other endeavors.

"You know I'm old enough now to realize that everything comes to a conclusion and it was time for my occupation to come to a conclusion," said Kvenvold.

He continued on and said he and his wife live on 31 acres of old farmstead and have horses, so there will be plenty for him to do in his free time.

At Kvenvold's retirement party on Tuesday, he said he isn't going to let completely loose and hopes to maintain composure, while laughing.

He added that his favorite part of his work in government in Rochester was definitely the people.

"Lots of good people," said Kvenvold.

As for what the future holds, aside from his life on the farm, Kvenvold said he's just going to live in the moment.

"Just take every day as it comes and enjoy each one as much as possible," said Kvenvold.

Going off the crowd and applause at his party, it's clear Kvenvold made quite the positive impact on not only the city of Rochester, but the people who live here, as well.

If you happen to be at Rochesterfest parade on June 24th, keep an eye out.

The Grand Marshall will be none other than Kvenvold.

He's definitely earned the honor.

As for what's next, in regards to the next city administrator?

Candidates for the next city administrator have been whittled down to 11.

Each candidate will have a video interview which will be reviewed by council, and that will then result in a handful of in-person interviews.

Meanwhile, the interim City Administrator is Gary Newman, who worked with Kvenvold for 34 years. 

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