Kari Zegarski, longtime clerk for the Village of Osceola, has accepted a position with the City of Oak Park Heights. Her last day with the village will be September 18. 

Village board members thanked Zegarski for her decades of commitment last week, at the board’s September 10 meeting.

“I’m sorry to see you go but I totally understand,” said Village President Jeromy Buberl. “Years ago, before I was on the board and before I knew you, I heard multiple people say that you were Osceola. You were part of all the important functions. Thank you very much for all your hard work.”

“Kari has been the face and the voice, through people coming through the doors or calling, for 22 years,” said Trustee Deb Rose. “She knows every street, every person who lives in this town and which house they live in. She knows nooks and crannies I don’t think anyone else knows about.”

Rose continued: “There’s a saying, ‘You don’t know what you have until it’s gone.’ This does not apply with Kari. We know what we’re losing. The knowledge, the demeanor, the ability to navigate the headaches, the quiet stability, you have been what our village needed for 22 years. But I am so excited for your opportunities. And if we’re in a pickle we know where to find you: every Wednesday night at the bowling alley. Your average is going to go up because your stress will go down.”

The Osceola Chamber of Commerce also honored Zegarski with an Above and Beyond Award last May, calling Zegarski the village’s go-to person since 1997. 

Zegarski, who will be doing accounting for Oak Park Heights, said the timing was right.

“It was time for me to move on, with the village and where I’m at in my life too,” she told the Sun. “I can’t keep it up. It’s a high stress job and it’s time for me to take a step back. The hardest thing and what I’ll miss the most is the people. This was my life for 22 years.”

Other business from the Osceola Village Board meeting

• The village officially rescinded acceptance of a grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Association for building the Fab Lab.

• The board discussed next steps in selling the former library property, including working with a commercial realtor and potential altering the lot line so that the building sits on one lot.

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