A momentous milestone: Schildroth hits the 15-year mark on board of supervisors

Grundy County Supervisor Mark Schildroth (pictured), who represents Reinbeck and the surrounding area, recently received a 15-year plaque for his service on the board. His late father, Don, directly preceded him and sat on the board from 1974 to 2002. (Robert Maharry/The Grundy Register photo)


Grundy County Supervisor Mark Schildroth knew he had a tough act to follow when he took office at the beginning of 2003, and that his predecessor—his father, Don—would be keeping a close eye on him. 
“It’s something I had to come around to gradually. I did not know that I would be the next person to sit in this chair,” he said. “I gave it some thought and decided to do it.” 
The elder Schildroth, who passed away in 2010, sat on the board for 28 years until his retirement in 2002, and with Mark receiving a plaque marking a decade and a half of service during Monday morning’s meeting, the family has now represented the Reinbeck area for 43 consecutive years. 
As is the case with most local farm families, the Schildroths go back generations in the southeastern section of the county, and it’s one of the most common surnames around Reinbeck. Mark has lived here all his life, so public service seemed like a natural fit. 
Boards of supervisors don’t always walk in lockstep with each other, and Grundy County’s is no exception. Its five members have, however, managed to remain civil even among bitter philosophical disagreements: as Chairman Jim Ross and 2017 Chairman Chuck Bakker joined in 2005, the group, which also includes Harlyn Riekena and Barb Smith, has now been together for 13 years uninterrupted. 
“I personally think this board’s a little bit unique, because we don’t always agree—and Jim will readily admit that,” he said, pointing to his colleague. “But when we walk out of here, we still respect one another. And that’s not always the case when you serve on a board.” 
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