Brainerd honors community member of month: Mary Devine Johnson recognized for planning efforts

Mary Devine Johnson was honored with the award for all her work on Brainerd's sesquicentennial celebration.

Mary Devine Johnson, center, receives a Community Member of the Month award from council member Tiffany Stenglein and Mayor Dave Badeaux. Theresa Bourke / Brainerd Dispatch

Mary Devine Johnson, executive director at Visit Brainerd, is the city’s Community Member of the Month for October.

The city council presented Johnson with the award during their meeting Monday, Oct. 4, thanking her for the all the time and effort she contributed to Brainerd’s sesquicentennial events in September.

“Mary has been deeply involved in putting together the sesquicentennial celebration that went so well and coordinating with all of our partners and, frankly, being a great partner herself,” said council member Tiffany Stenglein, who also helped organize sesquicentennial activities. “... So thank you for all that you do for Brainerd, for our community.”

A lot of behind the scenes work went into the week’s worth of events, Mayor Dave Badeaux said, and the planning process always comes with struggles.

“I can’t say enough for yourself,” he told Johnson, “along with councilwoman Stenglein, our wonderful city administrator, as well as Jessie (Ernster), our intern, who really shouldered the bulk of the efforts. And I was able to be a part of that, but you guys really picked it up amongst yourselves and ran with it, and specifically Mary. You did such an amazing job.”


Johnson thanked Badeaux and Stenglein for their kind words after accepting a certificate as her award.

In other business Monday, the council:

Approved a temporary beer license for the Brainerd Eagles Club for an event Oct. 9 at Memorial Park.

Authorized the sale of retired fire department equipment using the city’s public auction site. The fire department recently replaced its 1991 engine.

Authorized Police Chief Mike Bestul to execute the 2022 Traffic Safety Enforcement grant from the Office of Traffic Safety Towards Zero Deaths. The city is the fiscal host for the federal funding administered by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. The contract application with DPS for the funding requires a resolution authorizing the police department to enter into the agreement and execute the grant.

Updated job descriptions for public works employees after creating the public works department.

Approved an event application for the annual Zion Lutheran Church Trunk-or-Treat event set for 4-8 p.m. Oct. 31 in the church parking lot.

Approved the final reading of an ordinance amending the city charter. The main change is getting rid of the term “mill rate,” which refers to property taxes, and instead using a specific percentage of the past year’s levy. No one spoke at the public hearing for the ordinance.


Directed the safety and public works committee to work with city staff on the newly created streetlight policy and come up with options for decorative lights.

THERESA BOURKE may be reached at or 218-855-5860. Follow her on Twitter at .
Theresa Bourke started working at the Dispatch in July 2018, covering Brainerd city government and area education, including Brainerd Public Schools and Central Lakes College.
What To Read Next
Property owners to check their mailing addresses online at Crow Wing County Property Information to ensure the county has the correct mailing address.
Sun shines over Whiskey Creek in Brainerd.
Academic achievements recognized
Crow Wing County Jail looks to be fully staffed in the coming months as jails around the state are forced to reduce their inmate numbers.