Wednesday, September 1, 2010
GRANDVIEW - Fighting for the citizens of Grandview has only been part of the responsibilities of Attorney Jack Maxwell.
After 30 years representing the city's interests in court and at city council meetings, helping to enact city laws to keep the citizens safe and supporting efforts to promote community development, he is retiring.
A retirement party was held in Maxwell's honor Tuesday, giving citizens and community leaders an opportunity to wish the longtime city attorney well.
He said he has seen the city grow throughout his years of service. The population, he said, was approximately 3,800 when he took over the legal representation in 1980. His predecessor, Gordon Blechschmidt, was also his partner in private practice.
The city's population has grown to nearly 10,000 with annexation contributing to the surge.
Maxwell has been part of the process in developing Country Park and bringing Yakima Valley Community College to the community, as well. The property where the park is now located, he said, was purchased in 1988 and the college campus opened in the early 1990s.
The veteran attorney said the city's criminal caseload, too, has changed over the decades. He used to prosecute about 12 criminal cases each week, but now that caseload is between 60 and 70 on a weekly basis.
There are other changes that have occurred in 30 years. "I have seen many youngsters, like City Clerk Anita Palacios and her husband David, grow up to become responsible adults (with children of their own)," he said, stating the city clerk years ago babysat his own children.
In addition to the younger generation, Maxwell has worked with many of the employees of the city over the years. He has seen many gray hairs appear on the heads of his fellow employees, and a few have also appeared atop his own.
Overall, Maxwell considered it a privilege to serve his community throughout the years. He was provided a front row seat to the changes and activity surrounding city government.