By Sarah Shurge – “Mike Buiten and Ed Queen are the very definition of the term ‘public servant’,” said Wayne Police Chief Ryan Strong. “They just absolutely exemplify it and I’ve certainly seen that in my 24 years of working with them.”
At the city council meeting on Tuesday, December 19th, 2023, retiring Building and Engineering Director Mike Buiten and Department of Public Works Assistant Director Ed Queen were honored with plaques, presented by Chief Strong.
“After multiple decades of service, quite frankly I think some employees would coast on their way out, but that’s just not these gentlemen’s style. It’s in their hearts and souls to serve the community of Wayne,” said Chief Strong.
After over 25 years of service, Buiten and Queen retired at the end of December 2023.
“You both are going to be greatly missed in this community,” said Wayne Mayor John Rhaesa during the council meeting. “You’ve been a tremendous asset to all of us and we thank you for your service to the community.”
Buiten and Queen both said a few words during the council meeting.
“I want to thank the people of Wayne, both business owners and residents. The people and city have been so good to me and I feel so blessed by that,” said Buiten.
Buiten began his career with the city of Wayne in 1998.
“Wayne is a place that God gave me to work for almost 26 years and I tried to do that the best I could for Him,” said Buiten.
Queen began his career with the city of Wayne in 1996.
“I’ve enjoyed every bit of doing what I’ve been doing for the last 27 years,” said Queen during the meeting.
Monday, January 1st, was Buiten’s first day of retirement.
“I’ve been blessed in life. Now it’s time for me to help others,” said Buiten. “Sometimes you feel you need to get your hands involved and not just throw money at things.”
Buiten raised his family in the city of Wayne for 26 years before moving to Hillsdale four years ago. There he attends Countryside Bible Church. During retirement, he plans on working in a children’s ministry at his church called Helping Hands.
“I’ll be looking and learning about opportunities in the community and praying about what direction to take,” said Buiten.
During the council meeting on December 19th, Queen stated that he was in the military for under four years in the United States Air Force.
“An Air Force base or any bases that anyone in the military knows, you have a small little community that you’re responsible for. Well, the city of Wayne has become that second home to myself being that small community, said Queen.
Queen had nothing but kind words to say about the people he worked with.
“Thank you to each and every one of you, it’s been a joy working for the community. I’ve always enjoyed it and I will miss all you dearly,” said Queen.
Dave Schmidt has taken over things as Department of Public Works Assistant Director. The Department of Public Works (DPW) is located at 35200 Forest Road.
Kirk Malcomson has taken over as Assistant Director Building and Engineering. Wayne Building & Engineering is located at 3200 S Wayne Road.
“He is outstanding in that capacity. I think he’ll be a very good director until a replacement is found,” said Buiten.
We thank Buiten and Queen for all the work they’ve done for the city and wish them the best with their retirement!