Former mayor Eric Niemann
Former mayor Eric Niemann poses for a photo with the thank-you banner in front of his house. (Contributed photo)

Former Mayor Eric Niemann received a pretty cool “thank you” this week.

A Pacific Power employee hung a “Thank You” banner from a power pole facing his family’s residence. Niemann said the gesture “blew me away.”

Niemann served one two-year term as Philomath mayor and went above and beyond what one would consider the typical parameters of the job — one that receives no pay and is strictly voluntary.

Over my time as someone reporting on Philomath, it started to become routine to hear about the mayor’s latest project or contributions to the community. There have been times when I held back from writing about some of these because it had the feel that he was getting too much press.

Niemann decided not to run again for commendable reasons — to spend more time with family, including children that are growing up fast.

Although he has stepped out of the spotlight that comes with city government service, you’ll still hear from Niemann — at least once a month. He’s writing a monthly column for this news site, his latest one set to go online tomorrow. I believe he will have some interesting, even inspiring, perspectives related to his experiences in the community.

In fact, you’ll probably see Niemann at various functions or activities around town in the future. If you don’t know him and find an urge to thank him, he’s very approachable — no need to go to the lengths of hanging a banner (which, by the way, was a very nice way to express a thank you and I know was very touching to him).

(Brad Fuqua is publisher/editor of the Philomath News. He can be reached at