The St. Paul City Council declared May 28 as John Hershey Day in St. Paul to honor the retiring St. Thomas neighborhood liaison, who held the position for 16 years.

A resolution approved by the council calls Hershey “a consummate professional and true champion for positive neighborhood relations” and says he “patiently and effectively navigated through many difficult situations.” The council also cited his leadership of the West Summit Neighborhood Advisory Committee since its formation in 2004.

“John has attended countless public meetings in his tenure,” the resolution says, “and is hereby excused from any future public meetings as long as he uses the time with pursuits such as fishing or writing.”

Amy Gage, marketing and communications director at St. Catherine University, will replace Hershey as neighborhood liaison. She will start at St. Thomas on Wednesday, June 4.