Burlin Matthews, president of the Iowa State Association of Counties (ISAC), and Barry Anderson, board member of the Iowa State Association of County Supervisors (ISACS), attended the March 17 Crawford County Board of Supervisors meeting to honor Assistant to the County Engineer Chuck Ettleman, who is set to retire from his full-time position at the beginning of April.
Ettleman passed the 50-year mark with the county last Monday.
Matthews and Anderson are Clay County supervisors.
“I was asked if I would come down personally and give you the certificate of appreciation for the tenure that you’ve had in Crawford County,” Matthews said. “I talked to a couple three people from Crawford County and all I know is they love you down here.”
The group in the boardroom applauded loudly at his comment.
“I know that you are in the hearts of many people here, including the Iowa State Association of Counties,” Matthews said. “You just don’t find the tenure of employees in county government like you.”
Matthews told Ettleman the certificates they presented were small tokens of appreciation.
One of the certificates was from ISAC and the other was from the office of the governor and was signed by Gov. Kim Reynolds and Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg.
Matthews said he had signed a stack of certificates for employees who had worked for 5 to 25 years, but Ettleman’s was the only 50-year certificate.
Anderson said that leadership is about getting the job done, which is what Ettleman has done for 50 years.
Anderson then asked those sitting around the boardroom table to say a single word that they believe describes Ettleman.
“Need more time, Kyle?” Ettleman asked of Supervisor Kyle Schultz, who was first in line.
Ettleman’s comment elicited another round of laughter in the room.
Schultz said no one word could describe Ettleman, but said “trustworthy” was the word on top of his list.
“Steady,” said Supervisor Eric Skoog.
“Reliable” was Chairman Cecil Blum’s choice.
Supervisor Dave Muhlbauer chose “honorable.”
“Helpful,” said Supervisor Jeri Vogt.
“Dedicated,” said County engineer Paul Assman, who has been Ettleman’s boss for the last 20 years.
“When you have backing like that, you can’t be beat,” Anderson said.
Ettleman, who will continue as a part-time employee, said he will be around and he would come back for birthday treats.
Assman presented Ettleman a plaque made of a piece of marble found in the basement of the courthouse.
“I figure that someone who’s been here for 50 years deserves a little piece of the rock,” Assman said.
“I probably stepped on that a few times,” Ettleman said.
“You were here when they installed it,” Blum quipped.
Assman noted that Ettleman was only the second assistant to the county engineer in 100 years.
“He’s extremely dedicated and has touched everyone in here over the years,” Assman said. “He’s been a great mentor; a great friend. You can’t find anyone better.”