The “Whereas” clauses of the proclamation were lengthy, as befits the jobs David Zeretzke tackled during his 28-years as a County employee: Risk management, coordinating the enhanced-911 program, supervising construction and remodeling projects – including the acquisition and renovation of the new County Legislative Building – handling public records requests, managing contracts, training staff, helping to develop the County’s computer network and establishing what is now the Information Technology Department. And almost every employee now on the County’s staff, sat through Zeretske’s mandatory safety training.
The proclamation, read by County Council Chair Howie Rosenfeld, suggested that, with his retirement, Zeretzke was going to “abandon his post,” and deprive the county of “his decades of accumulated wisdom.”
“Therefore,” it concluded, “be it proclaimed that the San Juan County Council extends its gratitude to DAVID L. ZERETZKE for his 28 years of service to San Juan County and expresses its best wishes for an adventure-filled retirement – undertaken, of course, with his deep understanding of safety and risk management.”
Zeretzke received a standing ovation from the crowd in the Council hearing room and praise from County Administrator Pete Rose who thanked him for “offering his honest advice – whether I wanted to hear it or not.”
Zeretzke thanked the Council for the honor. “I have enjoyed these years of change and I have my greatest admiration for anyone who seeks public office. I’m going to miss a lot of people.”
What’s next for the man who has been the busiest man in County government? “I plan to take some time for life without deadlines and schedules and pursue more creative and introspective endeavors. My new motto is: ‘just say no’.”
Dave and his wife Mary Ann will soon be moving to a house in North Bellingham to be closer to his parents, but he has a daughter and four-year old grandson on San Juan Island, and plans to also maintain their home here.
“We’ll be here a lot,” he said, flashing his familiar smile.