Jasper Utility Service Board bids Schuetter farewell

After 12 years on the Jasper Utility Service Board, Wayne Schuetter was not reappointed for 2019.

Schuetter

The position is a mayoral appointment. When outgoing Mayor Terry Seitz released his list of board appointments Monday morning, Schuetter was not named. Former Jasper Fire Department Captain Phil Schmidt was listed as a new appointment. Schmidt is the son of the former Democrat councilman Tom Schmidt.

Schuetter led the utility service board as chairman for five years which included the time the board sought to rehabilitate the city’s inactive coal-fired power plant to convert it to a biomass power plant. Those plans were opposed by a grassroots group — Healthy Dubois County — that formed as those plans were made public. After a lengthy court battle regarding whether certain aspects of privately held negotiations should have been conducted in public, the developer pulled from the project citing market factors based on record low prices of natural gas. 

In 2015, Schuetter ran against then-incumbent Mayor Terry Seitz in the general election. The election ended in a historic tie that was later awarded to Seitz with a single vote by a special appointed three-person board that considered several challenged ballots completed by the traveling election board.

During the utility service board meeting, the attending council members, incoming board appointee Schmidt and the utility service board bid Schuetter farewell with a standing ovation for his service.

Schuetter commented that when he joined the board he was appointed as water commissioner and the first challenge he faced was replacing the dam and spillway at Beaver Lake. When he took over as chair, he was then challenged by leading the conversion of the power plant.

“It has been an honor and many times, a pleasure to work with the current members and past members of this board,” Schuetter said. “The challenges that you are going to have to face in the next few years will be just as daunting as what Rick (Stradtner, the second most senior member of the board) and I have faced.”

He reminded the board that the utilities are owned by the ratepayers of Jasper and they serve an important purpose. “Utilities are vital to every business and person we service every second of every day,” Schuetter said.

One Response to Jasper Utility Service Board bids Schuetter farewell

  1. mike dunkel December 18, 2018 at 6:04 pm #

    Sietz just proves over and over again why so many of us are happy he is leaving