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Council gets raises, honors arts in Winona (10/03/2012)
By Emily Buss

Nearly four years after their salaries were cut by $500, the Winona City Council and mayor will receive that money back, plus a small raise.

During recent 2013 budget reviews, the council directed staff to prepare a proposed adjustment to their salaries, restoring the $500 reduction that occurred in January 2009.

In a 3-2 vote Monday, council members approved the salary increase that would provide them with a 1 percent raise in January 2013 and a .05 percent raise in July 2013.

The mayor’s salary will increase from $8,790.20 to $9,407.00, the city council’s salary from $6,112.97 to $6,696.00.

Council members Al Thurley and George Borzyskowski voted against the salary increase.

Fine Arts Commission awards

At the Monday meeting, local arts and entertainment pioneers were recognized as being prolific creative contributors in the area.

The Fine Arts Commission presented the annual Fine Arts Award to Sam Brown, founder of the Mid West Music Festival, Christopher Livingston, owner of The Book Shelf, and the Winona Symphony Orchestra.

Since coming to Winona in 2009, Brown has planted roots in the “river city” and has built a rapidly growing yearly music festival. The 2012 festival brought in more than 500 volunteers and 3,000 participants.

“I am very honored and very happy to be living here in Winona,” Brown said. “I’m excited for year four, and I’m looking forward to growing and building this community through music.”

Just shy of its 10th anniversary, The Book Shelf on Second Street has been an independent vendor of quality fiction, nonfiction, and children’s literature since 2002. Livingston, who says he is a supporter of all things bound, said it is really the support of his family and the community that keeps the beloved bookstore running.

“I can’t thank you enough for this award and, what we do, we do for the community,” Livingston said.

In keeping with the traditions of the Winona Symphony Orchestra’s founder Carl Ruggles, current director Dr. Donald Lovejoy is making sure the organization enriches the area with high quality symphonic music. Lovejoy attributed his success as a director to the esteemed community of musicians.

“It has been an absolute privilege for me to direct this orchestra,” Lovejoy said. “It’s just so much fun making music in this community.”

The three award recipients were chosen out of 35 nominations. 


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