Irene Bauer to retire from city of Isanti

By Elizabeth Sias

Irene Bauer has held many positions working for the city of Isanti.

After 22 years, the Assistant City Administrator/City Clerk is looking forward to retirement.

To celebrate her retirement, the public is invited to an open house after Bauer’s last day of work Friday, Sept. 2, from 2 to 4 p.m. at Isanti City Hall, 110 1st Ave N.W.

Irene Bauer is retiring after working for the city of Isanti for over 20 years. Photo by Elizabeth Sias

Bauer started part-time in 1989 and became a full-time professional secretary under the city administrator in a matter of a few months.

Before long, she became the deputy clerk and eventually her current job as assistant city administrator/city clerk, which she has held for seven years.

During her time with the city, Bauer has worked under eight city administrators, but titles haven’t been important to her.

“Titles didn’t mean a whole lot to me — you had a job and you did your job,” Bauer said. “Yeah, I’ve worked a lot of things, I’ve had a lot of titles, but you just do your job as they come.”

With all of those jobs came many responsibilities, including reporting for the police department, working on payrolls and sometimes the budget, which were among her duties starting out.

In her current position, Bauer acted as secretary for the city council, which involved preparing the agendas and recording the minutes. She was also in charge of all the licensing — such as liquor licenses — and gambling permits, and worked on the contracts for municipal services like cleaning and window washing.

Those are some of the duties Bauer has been training her replacement, Karissa Henning from Maple Grove.

Bauer said the biggest challenge in her career might have been when Isanti saw a lot of growth within the community, and had lots of annexations and developments.

“Having the growth come so fast and having to keep up with my job in itself was a challenge,” she said. “It was an exciting part of the city, too, because (my husband and I) moved to Isanti in 1970 and I think the population was roughly 600 to 700, and now we’re over 5,000. That’s quite a drastic change in our community and I still marvel as I drive through some of those development areas that this is really Isanti.”

Despite the change, Bauer feels Isanti still has the small town atmosphere she and her husband Duane have grown to love.

Married 42 years, she and Duane plan to stay in Isanti because they’ve been a part of the community for so long. They have three grown children and three grandchildren. Bauer also has two stepdaughters and three step-grandchildren she considers family.

She said she’ll miss her coworkers and thanks them for making her employment with the city a success, but has plenty to look forward to in retirement. She and her husband want to do a lot of road trips in the United States, including the Grand Canyon, which Bauer has never seen.

She’s also excited to spend more time on her hobbies, including quilting, scrapbooking, crocheting and gardening. One of the first things Bauer will do with her free time is attend a Twins game with her husband, which they’ve never done before.

“I’m looking forward to retirement and moving on,” she said. “I’m moving from one chapter of my life into another, so I think I have enough things in my future to keep me busy without thinking I’m going to miss parts of my job. Just being a part of the city environment I’ll miss.”