McKinney sent off with DBA honor

John McKinney received a certificate of appreciation from the Park Rapids Downtown Business Association on Tuesday, during his last city council meeting as city administrator.

Cynthia Jones with the Park Rapids Downtown Business Association (DBA) thanked city staff and council members Tuesday for their contributions to this year’s 2nd Street Stage.

Jones concluded by presenting a certificate of appreciation to John McKinney, who was attending his last council meeting before his resignation went into effect Friday.

With the certificate, Jones said, McKinney received an honorary lifetime membership in the DBA “in recognition of his many contributions to the downtown business community. We thank you for your guidance, patience and support through the years, and with you the very best always.”

The certificate included a photo of the public restrooms at Pioneer Park, completed last year, and jokingly designated McKinney as “crapper in chief.”

McKinney thanked Jones and quipped, “I was afraid they were going to name the downtown bathroom after me.”


Among those attending the meeting and wishing McKinney well in his second retirement was State Sen. Paul Utke, who served on the city council when McKinney was hired as interim city administrator in September 2012.

“John was going to come on for four months and get us through the interim,” Utke recalled. “Then we extended four months to, I think, eight or ten, and then it was a year, and then we finally removed the ‘interim’ from his label. I thank you, John, because you sure made our life easy at that time.”

In consent items and general business, the city council:

  • Accepted the resignations of city planning commissioner Tanya Boyer and volunteer firefighter Jason Horton, and authorized staff to advertise and interview for the open firefighter position.

  • Paid Central Florida Tankees $19,998 for work on water tower rehabilitation.

  • Approved the purchase of four sets tires for police squad cars from PK Tire Stores at the state bid price of $2,425.

  • Approved the purchase of new turnout gear for one firefighter at $3,450.

  • Approved a public facilities use permit for Cynthia Jones with the Park Rapids Community Development Corporation to close the second block of Main Ave. from 5 to 8 p.m. on Aug. 22 for a 2nd Street Stage event.

  • Approved a public facilities use permit for Calvary Lutheran Church to close half a block of 2nd St. E. from Park Avenue to the church’s driveway for a Rally Sunday worship service, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 8.

  • Approved payables totaling $69,063 and prepaids totaling $174,034.

  • Authorized the surplus sale of a city-owned 2005 Dodge Durango and a 2011 Ford Crown Victoria via an online auction company, with Mayor Ryan Leckner abstaining.

  • Appointed City Administrator Ryan Mathisrud as the responsible authority for records management, and designated authorized signatures for 2019.

The next city council meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 10 at city hall. The city’s preliminary budget for 2020 will be up for approval at that time, following a 5 p.m. budget workshop.

Robin Fish is a staff reporter at the Park Rapids Enterprise. Contact him at or 218-252-3053.
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