In January, there will be a new mayor in the City of Grimes for the first time since 2002. Mayor Tom Armstrong was sent off with a retirement celebration, held at Shade Tree Auto on Thursday, Dec. 21 where the community gathered to congratulate him.

Food was catered by The Radish and words were given by Grimes Chamber and Economic Development Director, Brian Buethe, Grimes City Council member, Jill Altringer, and Armstrong himself. He was presented with a plaque, commemorating his 16 years of work for the city, and side-beside pictures of the City of Grimes in 2002 and today, showing the growth that has occurred under his leadership.

Armstrong said that he appreciated all of the City Council members he’s worked with over the years, even though he didn’t always agree with them and they didn’t always agree with him. Despite that, they were always working together for the betterment of Grimes.

“Grimes has become my home and I’m really proud to be here,” Armstrong said. “I’ve always been called the ‘pretty boy’ as the mayor, but I know that to be the ‘pretty boy,’ there’s a lot of people behind me, there’s a lot of… city staff that has just done yeoman’s work to help the city grow.”

“The team is just phenomenal here with Grimes. I’m going to miss you all. I’ve appreciated everything and I really thank you all for putting your trust in me for 16 years.”

Buethe said that he moved to Grimes in 2007, five years after Armstrong took over as Mayor and has been able to see much of the growth and changes in Grimes over the years.

“Of course, it’s (population growth) continued, and we anticipate it’s going to continue for a long time to come because of our great privilege to be part of a growing region, but also because of a lot of the work and foresight that you (Armstrong) and the other leaders of Grimes have put into place over the years,” Buethe said. “So for that we appreciate you.”

In 2002, when Armstrong was elected mayor, the population of Grimes was about 5,319 with about 61 city employees and a city budget of about $12,749,592. Today, the population is estimated at about 13,000, they have close to 100 city employees and the budget is about $24,668,393.

Altringer spoke at the event about his dedication to serving the city, saying that she had been touring city buildings and he was willing to drop everything to go with her and keep working.

“That’s the dedication, that’s what he has put in all these years,” Altringer said. “He has been the person that you can call at whatever time of night, and he’ll answer, he’ll respond. It might not be the answer you want to hear, and Lord knows, we have gone round and round on various issues, but at the end of the day, he was a person who respected your opinion and he knew that he was able to at least answer your question.”

Armstrong’s last City Council meeting as Mayor will take place on Dec. 28 at 11:30 a.m. During the first meeting of January, the new Mayor, Scott Mikkelsen will take his place after winning the election last November.