On Wednesday evening, the city of Rochester celebrated the legacy of beloved Mayor Ardell Brede and his right hand Donna Bussell in a joint retirement party. The duo have worked together since the beginning of Brede’s first term.
How do you sum up a legacy?
“Joy. What a joy it is and a privilege to be able to represent this city and all the wonderful people who live and come here,” Mayor Brede said.
Mayor Brede has served and represented Rochester for nearly 16 years – with him every step of the way; his associate, Bussell.
“We’ve been a good team,” Bussell said. “It’s like a work marriage, you don’t always see eye to eye but you have to compromise.”
Being an avid, lover of the arts, it only seemed fitting for Mayor Brede to have his retirement party at the Rochester Art Center.
Mayor Brede says it’s a surreal feeling to step down, when back in 2003, he didn’t think he’d win his first election.
“It’s been a joy that some kid from Austin, Minnesota had no right to ever think he could do,” Mayor Brede said.
Over the years Mayor Brede has participated in countless city traditions, represented Rochester internationally and even at the White House, all while watching the town grow by leaps and bounds.
“Its so simple to say, everything,” Mayor Brede said. “Its been such a joy to represent this.”
“There are so many good people here,” Bussell added. “There is they’re just wonderful people.”
People soon to be in the care of new city leaders.
“I think overall, 16 years, we’ve done a pretty good job,” Brede said.
Mayor Brede plans to take a break and enjoy the time off – however, he has already been asked to join several different boards around town. He adds that his late wife Judy, would be proud.