Longtime councilman honored at last meeting


JASPER — Dubois County Council President Jerry Hunefeld was honored at his last council meeting Tuesday.

He received Indiana’s Circle of Corydon award, which the Governor gives to Hoosiers who have made remarkable contributions to the betterment of Indiana and its people. State Sen. Mark Messmer presented the award.

Hunefeld also received an award from the county, a gift from his fellow council members, and a framed copy of the minutes taken from his first council meeting. They were four paragraphs, as the meetings back then were about 30 minutes or less, Hunefeld noted.

“I didn’t know anyone,” he said. “And I replaced a popular incumbent. I was the youngest, the only Protestant and the the only Republican.”

Someone told him back then that he should always vote no on issues because of his different political affiliation from the other council members. “I decided that was not a good idea,” he said.

Instead, Hunefeld decided to look at all matters with an open mind and was determined to be one who worked with others to find a suitable solution to issues, he said.

“They gave me great respect for that,” he said of the other council members.

That mantra still works today. And Hunefeld told the other council members that he was assured in knowing that they worked in the same manner.

“I feel confident in what you have been doing, and what you will be doing” in the future, he said.

Hunefeld announced in November that he would retire at the end of the year. He joined the council in 1974, and was vice president of the council for years before becoming president in 2017. Among past accolades, he received the Sagamore of the Wabash, another state award, in 2014.

Alex Hohl of Huntingburg will join the council in January to finish the last two years of Hunefeld’s term.

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