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Washington County Board Chair Tennies to retire

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After 50 years of service as a County Board Supervisor for Washington County, Herbert Tennies will officially retire on April 19, 2016.  To recognize his incredible service, the County organization and the Tennies family are working together to celebrate Herb’s impending retirement on Tuesday, March 08.

Since Herb took office in 1966 Washington County’s population has nearly tripled.  The County has gone from a largely rural and agricultural county with strategically located yet successful industry, to a suburban hub of residential, commercial and industrial growth.

County government meanwhile has remained small, efficient and effective, in part thanks to Herb’s frugal yet responsible leadership, culminating this past Fall with a budget which assured a property tax rate nearly equal to the rate from his first budget in office in 1967. During his 50 years of service to the County, Herb served 35 years on the Personnel Committee, 11 years as a member of the Executive Committee and eight years as County Board Chair.

When asked what made it possible for him to serve this long, Tennies said, “I’ve had a lot of ups and downs in county government.  I wanted to do something for the community and to give back for all that I have. Washington County is in good shape and I hope it will stay that way.”

After serving the County 50 years and the West Bend Fire Department 26 years, the list of Herb’s accomplishments and contributions to the community is long.  Herb started Germanfest in downtown West Bend in 1986 and served as Germanfest’s Chair for over 25 years. 

He has also served as Chairman of the Holy Angels Property and Grounds Committee and Director of the West Bend Area Chamber of Commerce in addition to numerous other committees and community organizations.  With regards to Washington County as an organization, Herb prided himself on ensuring responsible growth, always thinking of the taxpayer first. 

Despite these accomplishments, Herb believes his greatest achievement is his family: he is married to Susie for 54 years, has five wonderful children and will soon have 17 grandchildren.

“Herb’s retirement marks the end of an era in Washington County government.  I can’t overstate the impact that his 50 years of service has had on this County,” County Administrator Joshua Schoemann said.  “Herb’s knowledge of the County is seemingly endless.  Nearly everything you see, he helped build.  No one knows more about the ins and outs of the County than Herb.  He will be greatly missed.”

The County’s celebration to honor Herb’s accomplishments and contributions to the community will be on March 8 at the Washington County Courthouse. Various local, State and Federal dignitaries are invited to present Herb with their own recognitions.

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