Thomas Kuntz, mayor of Owatonna, Minnesota, received the Spence Vanderlinden Public Official Award at the American Public Power Association’s national conference in Orlando, Florida. This award recognizes elected or appointed local officials who have contributed to the goals of the American Public Power Association.
Mr. Kuntz spent 31 years with Owatonna Public Utilities in Minnesota before retiring in 2003. That same year, he was elected mayor of Owatonna. Having already been an active participant in American Public Power Association events, he redoubled his efforts from the perspective of a local policymaker. Mr. Kuntz joined the Association’s Policymakers Council in 2006 and served as chair in 2015 and an ex-officio member of the Association’s board of directors. He also served on the board of directors for PowerPAC—the Association’s political action committee. Regionally, Mr. Kuntz is active with the Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency, serving on its board from 1997 to 1999 and as its president from 1999 to 2001.