Wayland mayor remembered for dedication to community

Greg Rich
Greg Rich

Wayland Mayor Greg Rich will be remembered for his dedication to and love for his community.

Rich died Thursday morning following a sudden illness.

Speaking on behalf of city officials, City Clerk Beverly Conrad spoke of Rich’s dedication.

“Mayor Rich was vision-oriented, always looking for the best interest of the Wayland community,” Conrad said.

“He was a member of Wayland Economic Development Corporation, worked tirelessly on the Fourth of July Committee and would lend a helping hand around town any time, day or night,” she said. “We are deeply saddened by this loss to the city and Mayor Rich’s family and offer our deepest sympathies.”

Rich was first elected to the Wayland City Council in 2004 and served in that capacity until he was sworn in as mayor in 2018. He was still in his first term as mayor at the time of his death.

He worked at Eichelberger Mills as feed operational manager for 18 years. He previously worked at Blue Bird for 22 years.

Rich was a member of the Cottonwood Methodist Church and Wayland Lions. He enjoyed riding his motorcycle and grilling.

Private family graveside services have been set for 10 a.m., Tuesday at the Cottonwood Cemetery. The service will be livestreamed on the Beatty & Peterseim Funeral Home’s Facebook page.

Memorials may be designated to the City of Wayland West Wetlands Project, Wayland Fire Department or the Cottonwood Cemetery.

Rich’s death leaves a vacancy in the mayor’s seat.

Conrad said that council member Chet Fort, who is the current mayor pro-tem, will handle mayoral duties until a new mayor is appointed by the City Council.

“The mayor pro-tem will handle mayoral duties until the vacancy is filled,” Conrad said. “A notice to appoint or hold special election will be published as per Iowa Code 362.3. The appointment to fill a vacancy must be made within 60 days of the date the vacancy occurred. The person appointed serves until the next city election.”

The next city election is in 2021.

The next regularly scheduled Wayland City Council meeting is 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 7.