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Record Editorial: Buboltz has been a great mayor

Detroit Lakes is losing a great mayor. Larry Buboltz is retiring after his term expires this year.

With his upbeat attitude, impressive work ethic, and ability to get things done, Buboltz has been highly effective -- even in the face of sometimes stiff opposition.

Although Detroit Lakes has a "weak mayor" form of government (he votes only to break ties) Buboltz has been able to steer policy through his powers of persuasion, and by coalition building on the council.

He also uses his powers of appointment to great effect, putting allies on key boards and committees.

He taps the best and the brightest in the community for work on city panels, regardless of their political leanings, which are often different than his own.

Buboltz first came to town in 1965 to teach history and political science. He ran the Minnesota CEP program here for years, and has served on the Detroit Lakes City Council for 32 years -- 12 years as an alderman and another 20 years as mayor.

He was voted "favorite elected official" by DL Newspapers readers in a contest last year.

His philosophy of government is simple, he says: "What you see is pretty much what you get ... I believe public and community service is extremely important. We have dedicated people on our council and committees, and there are also many, many people committed to organizations..."

Buboltz says city employees have made his job easier over the years.

"We have excellent city staff," he said. "Good staff makes me look good."

Buboltz takes constituent services to heart and often has been able to help people with their questions or problems.

With an easy smile and affable personality, Buboltz has been a excellent ambassador for the city. He tries always to speak at public events when invited, and says it's part of the responsibility that goes with his position.

"Frankly, it's an honor to be at groundbreakings, and to welcome guests to our town," he said. "People work hard to bring regional organizations to town. The city should be represented whenever they are invited to something, period ... It's important to say 'hi, welcome, good to have you here.'"

His positive outlook and infectious enthusiasm will be greatly missed by constituents, but Buboltz can look back on his years as mayor with pride: He has helped makes Detroit Lakes a great place to live.