Big Sky’s unofficial mayor receives the unofficial key
Nic Wellenstein says goodbye to the Water and Sewer district and hello to endless adventure
On Friday, Sept. 13, friends and coworkers of Nic Wellenstein gathered at The Corral for a good old fashioned retirement party. After nearly 19 years with the Big Sky County Water and Sewer District (BSCWSD) and decades in the community, he is regarded as the unofficial mayor of Big Sky.
BSCWSD general manager Ron Edwards – his supervisor during his tenure – presented the “unofficial mayor with the unofficial key to the unincorporated community of Big Sky.”
“It’s been a good ride,” Wellenstein said as the two shook hands and grinned. Edwards agreed and spoke of their long history in the growing community – nearly 19 years of working together.
“He’s been the go-to guy for everybody in Big Sky for anything to do with water and sewer,” BSCWSD financial officer Terry Smith said, noting many people stop by the office and ask, “Where is Nic?”
Wellenstein has been key to the fixed base project for the automatic meter reading system – a technological advancement for the district, Miquelle Bernard AMI-AMR Specialist with Ferguson Waterworks said.
“Without Nic, it probably wouldn’t have happened. He probably could have retired sooner, but stayed on to make sure it happened. He’s very passionate about his work and wanted to make sure it was right,” she said.
As Edwards said, Wellenstein knows about every human and dog in the area. As tribute to some of those relationships, Edwards gifted him a gigantic bag of dog biscuits. Wellenstein is known to carry them everywhere, just in case he meets a furry friend.
There was an impressive buffet as well wishers filtered through. A cake saying, “Let’s Celebrate Quittin’ Time” was sliced into and shared. He received jovial pats on the back and toasts to years well spent and a promising future full of flying and adventure. Everyone spoke to his professionalism.
Wellenstein said he will still be around and encouraged water operators to call him with any questions – he is happy to help.
His golden years will be enjoyed by flying his plane, a 1940 J3 Piper, and by traveling as support for his friend Kent Pietsch, who is a stunt pilot sponsored by Jelly Belly. A whiz at anything technical, Wellenstein is adept at putting the plane back together when it is broken down to be transported by trailer to various parts of the nation for air shows and even drives a truck with a platform on it so Pietsch can land on top of it. He has already traveled as far as Leon, Mexico, Alaska and Australia with the stunt show.
It is obvious Wellenstein, with his quiet, approachable nature, is a tremendous asset wherever he hangs his hat.
The Lone Peak Lookout is honored to wish him the very best retirement filled with friendship and grand adventures.