A luncheon was held for Rausch at Grant's restaurant and attended by city employees. A public reception was held at the City Park Casino yesterday afternoon.
"I told the mayor [Jim Orr] at lunch that it was a privilege to work for the city," Rausch told The Times.
The occasions offered opportunities to share memories about working with Rausch over the years. Municipal Judge Mike Garrett said Rausch had been "an exemplary city employee."
"In setting the standards for the first time, George was not going to win any popularity contests," Garrett said. "He stayed the course. He kept people honest, and he should be proud of that."
Rausch recalled when he was first hired, Garrett had advised more ground could be gained with "a spoonful of honey than a spoonful of vinegar." Rausch said there were many things he would have done differently, knowing what he does now.
Utilities Superintendent Pete Rauch recalled some of the people who became the most upset with Rausch for insisting on construction standards benefitted from Rausch's efforts.
"They didn't understand George was there to protect their investment," Rauch said.
Rausch had strong praise for Wade Ennis, his assistant building inspector, whom he said had all the skills to make an excellent successor. Rausch said he did not plan to be needed to consult on major construction projects pending in Monett. In his retirement, Rausch expects to spend time on his blueberry farm and with his family.