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Rauterkus steps down from Port Authority

Ralph Rauterkus, who Monday became Red Wing City Council president, is stepping down from his post on the city's lead economic development agency.

Rauterkus informed city administration Thursday that he was resigning from his seat on the Red Wing Port Authority effective immediately. Given his new duties as council president combined with his full-time job, Rauterkus said it would be too much for him to juggle all the responsibilities.

"I think it would be a little overwhelming for me," he said.

Council will look to nominate and vote on a replacement for Rauterkus -- one of two council members to sit on the agency's board -- during its meeting Monday.

Rauterkus noted several other council members are retirees and may be better suited to handle the duties that come with sitting on the port.

Over the past two years, Council member Mike Schultz served as council president, Port Board member and also worked a full-time job.

"It's a tremendous amount of work," he said, adding he would not look to do it again. Pulling off the hat trick would have been possible a couple years back, Schultz said, but tough financial times have increased council members' workload.

"To say we've been busy -- that's probably an understatement," he said.

The decision to step down did not come lightly, Rauterkus said.

"There's still much to be done," he said, adding, "We're in a good position to mold the agency for the future."

Yet, he said he still plans to be involved in the city's economic development by his work on the City Council. There are plans for the city's different economic development organs - governmental and private - to better consolidate their efforts. As council president, Rauterkus said he can help make that happen.