The City of Forest City is mourning the loss of longtime Mayor Byron (Barney) Ruiter. He had been Mayor of Forest City for 6 years and was aggressive in bringing business and industry into Forest City. He addressed the housing shortage head on, played a role in the Police Department returning to their headquarters after a devastating arson fire, the construction of a new county jail, the building of the Emergency Services Center, and the arrival of the Country Thunder Music Festival.
During his administration, he guided the city towards reducing taxes, repairing roads, and expanding opportunities for small business.
The Forest City Administrator Daisy Huffman on how she remembers Ruiter.
Ruiter worked in the Forest City Street Department 43 years and would be found occasionally working on the trash trucks picking up garbage when the department was short staffed. He took a personal role in helping all departments whenever needed. It was part of his nature to continuously go above and beyond for people and local organizations.
The Forest City Council will be led by Mayor Pro Tem Ron Holland and they will decide how to proceed for the remainder of Ruiters’ term according to Huffman.
Huffman issued a formal statement to the public which included, “Since first being elected to Mayor in 2015, his passion for serving others and improving quality of life for all citizens will not be forgotten. Our deepest condolences go to the Ruiter family and all those he touched throughout his remarkable life. We will never forget his contributions to making Forest City the best it can be.”
Flags throughout the city have been lowered to half-staff in memory of Ruiter