Tom Boedeker is usually the first person to know what's happening. So it was a bit of turnabout over the weekend, when the Soldotna city manager was awarded the Vic Fischer Local Government Leadership Award over the weekend by the Alaska Municipal League.
"You could have blown me over with a feather," Boedeker said Monday after returning from the AML's 54th annual Local Government Conference in Fairbanks.
AML officials and Boedeker's colleagues kept the honor a secret from him up until the award was announced. He said he had no idea he was in line for an award, but he did get a little suspicious when people at his table kept him from getting up to get a drink a move he later learned was to keep him from seeing his wife, Tanya, who flew up for the award presentation.
"Everyone at the table knew it but me," he said.
Boedeker has served as Soldotna's city manager for the past eight years. During that time, he's been front and center on just about every city issue and is deserving of the award because of his tireless work on city and regional issues, according to his administrative assistant, Kathy Dawson.
"Mr. Boedeker dedicates many hours to this community working not only for the city of Soldotna, but our whole Kenai Peninsula," Dawson said in a press release.
The Vic Fischer award was established in 2000 by the AML to recognize a government official in Alaska who "shows a significant statewide contribution to improving local government and communities in Alaska."
The award's namesake, Fischer, was secretary to the Committee on Local Government at the Alaska Constitutional
Convention, served in the Alaska Legislature and was responsible for helping create Anchorage system of green strip parks. Fischer was on hand Friday evening to personally present the award to Boedeker.
"I was as pleased as punch," Boedeker said. "It was a big surprise ... it's a hell of an honor."
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