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After serving the public for 47 years, Manchester’s mayor retiring

Published: Oct. 20, 2021 at 6:27 PM CDT
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Manchester, Iowa (KCRG) - Manchester’s Main Street has changed quite a bit since 1974. But one thing hadn’t changed: Milt Kramer in the mayor’s office at City Hall.

That is, until the end of this year.

“They say ‘mayor, you’re not a youngster anymore,’ I said no I’m going to be 85 years old and another four-year term I don’t know,” Kramer said.

There’s a simple reason he says he first ran for mayor: someone asked him in 1974 when the previous mayor passed away. Then, he just stayed put.

“Needless to say it’s taken me all this time to figure out how do you get out of this job,” Kramer said.

“Milt really has been a great advocate for our staff working with him and making sure we’re doing what we need to do but at the same token he is representing us well,” Tim Vick, the city manager, said.

Kramer is the first to credit his wife for letting him serve for so long.

“She tolerated me for all these years and she’s in a nursing home right now and I visit her every day and two other individuals that were responsible for my development were my two daughters,” Kramer said.

Kramer balanced mayoral duties with teaching and coaching basketball for 34 years. He retired from that job in 1997. Kramer said all of that work has always been about one thing.

“Oh, golly I just think meeting the people,” Kramer said. “I have a habit not so much recently because of the illness but I have an open invitation to the parochial school and the public schools anytime I want to go in and visit with students.”

Now two people are running to take his place. And his advice to whoever comes next is simple.

“Just take it as it is, says it as it is and be responsive for all people,” Kramer said. “I have a policy, I don’t care who calls me in the community, I don’t care if they are the owner of a big business in town or if they are an employee at one of our industries they want to talk, I’ll listen.”

Even in retirement, you’ll still likely find Milt around Manchester listening and helping, just with a little more free time.

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