It was a sad night at Canby's Oct. 2 council meeting as the councilors, the mayor and several staff members said their official goodbyes to City Administrator Rick Robinson. The praise was lavish and several members appeared to be holding back tears.
It won't be the last time the city will see Robinson, there will be an official party on Oct. 9 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Gwynn's. But this was his final official council meeting.
Robinson also received an award from the city's Canby Area Beautification group. The 2019 Canby Beautification Special Recognition award he received from the group was for his support and positive nature of his help.
However, some people did hear him say, "I don't deserve this, I haven't done anything," very quietly as he stepped down to accept the award in his shy manner. A councilor, less quietly noted that this is "vintage Rick."
Following a vote to trade five acres of Canby owned land near the Willamette River with nearly five acres of formerly Canby Utility land, Sarah Spoon said,
"I just want to say this feels like a very fitting last meeting for Rick to have this, which really exemplifies your ability to be solution-oriented and find common ground between agencies, and figure out what the best thing for the community is, and find out how we can all get there. And, I'm really excited because this [the property swap] is in everyone's best interest."
"It opens up opportunities for our community in the future for livability in having a sustainable water system that we didn't have" before, Spoon added.
"This is quintessential Rick a win-win operation. Our city management leadership has not always had that concept [until Rick]. If we won that was good enough," said Councilor Greg Parker.
Other council members and staff thanked him for his leadership and mentorship with City Attorney Joseph Lindsey stating "It may be the best job he's ever had and it's the best job I've ever had [and he leads] with quality and professionalism, is kind and warm and sincere, someone who leads by example and is also a great mentor."
"Thank each of you for allowing me to be your City Administrator for the past five years," Robinson said as he began his closing comment. "It's been a remarkable experience for me. As you know I'm something of a veteran as it comes to working in an executive capacity with local agencies. This has been an extraordinary pleasure and obviously fraught with challenges. With challenges come opportunities and with opportunities comes growth, even if those opportunities come with failures. We hope to learn from our failures and move on.
"For me I've had a chance to work with four of you from Day One, which is in itself over five years is pretty remarkable. The other three who have just joined are really doing an amazing job and I appreciate each of you and the individuality that you bring to the conversations and which are sometimes challenging to me. I will be the first to admit for me this has been a tremendous opportunity that I will remember through the balance of my life as a high point."
Robinson added to his appreciation for the council he worked for, "I particularly want to thank you for your support with some particularly challenging health issues with our family. You have been there in our corner every step of the way…and made it possible because of your understanding and flexibility that allowed me to continue to do my job and still meet my overarching priority, which is my family. That support has meant the world to me."
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