by Dennis Dalman
Don Posch loves Sauk Rapids, and it’s his love for the city that sparks his interest in volunteerism.
Many people who attend Sauk Rapids City Council meetings might know Posch as “the man behind the cameras.” For 10 years, Posch has manipulated the remote-control video cameras that film each meeting so the video can be shown on a local TV cable station. He also volunteers at the compost site during City Clean-Up Day and for the Easter Egg Hunt event at an elementary school.
“I love to volunteer,” Posch said. “It sure beats sitting around at home watching TV. And Sauk Rapids is such a good city. I wouldn’t consider living anywhere else. My home is not too far from downtown, everything I need is close by, including the Whitney Senior Center in St. Cloud.”
Whitney is important to Posch, partly because that’s where he volunteered 10 years ago to work the cameras at Sauk Rapids City Council. He was aware Sauk Rapids needed a videographer and so he approached the Retired Senior and Volunteer Program (see related story). Posch figured he’d like the job as he’s always been something of a shutterbug, even way back in the old days of the Kodak Box Brownie camera and all the way up to the digital-camera age.
Posch said he remembers the past 10 years as “hectic ones” for city hall. He started his camera work when the hall was located downtown. There were many debates at city council about where to locate a new city hall and city offices. Finally, the council decided it should be built way up on the hill, at 250 Summit Ave. N. But in the meantime, until the facility was built, the council met in the fire station.
“They put in new camera equipment in the new city hall with the best technology,” Posch said. “It’s really something. My job is really easy. I just have to make sure to use the controls to point the camera at the right speaker when somebody is talking, then have some shots of all the council members and sometimes of the audience, too. I have to pay close attention, but it’s not a hard job.”
When Posch cannot be there, he has a back-up person – Mark Campbell.
“I’m really impressed by the quality of people in city hall, people like engineer Todd Schultz and administrator Ross Olson,” Posch said. “They’re such professionals. And they help make my volunteer work easier. Anytime you can do something for your city, it’s fun.”
Posch was born and raised on a dairy farm in Holdingford, the oldest of 10 children. His wife, Doris Bemer, was raised in the same house they now live in, with their only child, Jeff.
Years ago, the Posches built their own house, near the site of Doris’s childhood home along Golden Spike Road. But recently, they decided to downsize to save on money, and so they sold most of their stuff and the house and moved in with Jeff, who is single.
Much of the land inherited by Doris from parents Norb and Lucille was sold to the Sauk Rapids-Rice School District when the new high school was built. For a time, the Posches owned a mini-storage business on their land, but they sold that too.
Posch, now 75, worked for almost four decades in Anoka as a painter for the Cornelius Co., which made soda-pop machines. Then he was laid off because the company had outsourced almost all of its operations to other countries.
Doris worked for 30 years as a transcriber in the emergency room at the St. Cloud Hospital. Both are now retired.
They married in 1967, the year they moved to Sauk Rapids. For many years, one of their passions was snowmobiling, taking snowmobile trips to as far away as the Boundary Waters and Michigan. Posch, ever the shutterbug, took thousands of scenic photos during their trips.
Don Posch is keen on every new development in the city he loves.
“That four-lane road they’re going to build is really going to be something,” he said. “It’ll run all the way from the bridge up the hill to Hwy. 10, and it’s a good deal. It’s planned to last for 50 years, and it’ll make it so much easier for people to make turns along that busy street. It just goes to show how Sauk Rapids has grown so much in recent years. It’s a great city.”