Atascadero City Clerk Marcia Torgerson retires
Lara Christensen appointed to the position
–The City of Atascadero is announcing the resignation of Marcia McClure Torgerson from the position she has held for over 20 years as the elected city clerk, to become effective March 3, 2017. Torgerson was originally appointed in 1996 by the city council to fill the then vacant city clerk position, and has been elected by Atascadero voters to continue to fill that position ever since.
In addition to serving as city clerk, in 1997 Torgerson was hired in a secretarial position in the city manager’s office. She held various roles and titles in the city manager’s office through the years, ultimately being appointed Deputy City Manager. In December of 2015 and after eighteen years of employment with the City, Torgerson retired from the deputy city manager position but retained the position of elected city clerk until now.
During Torgerson’s tenure with the city, she was a highly regarded member of the city’s Executive Management Team. She coordinated the creation of the city’s Local Hazard Mitigation Plan, was the Project Coordinator for the City Hall Annex after the 2003 earthquake and managed many special projects along with fulfilling her city clerk responsibilities. Torgerson became a Certified Municipal Clerk in 2003, after participating in a three-year training program. She created the city’s Records Retention Schedule and as Records Manager she worked closely with all city departments to implement the program. In 2007, she implemented a public trust project which consisted of ethics forums and workshops for all city council members, city management, staff and the community.
In September of 2007, Torgerson was the recipient of the Atascadero Rotary Club’s Paul Harris Fellowship Award for outstanding service to her community; she was recognized by the Rotary in part for her “steady manner in assisting the city manager in all functions for the city; for working tirelessly as city clerk; for being honest, professional, forthright; and for having the citizens of Atascadero at heart.”
Mayor Tom O’Malley says that “the City of Atascadero benefitted tremendously from Marcia’s service to our community as the elected city clerk. Marcia is a dedicated public servant and I am thankful to have worked closely with her for many years; I know every council member benefited from her expertise. Marcia has consistently proven herself to be an excellent, strategic source of good information and expert advice. We will definitely miss her knowledge and experience but we wish her very well in her retirement.”
“I have thoroughly enjoyed being the elected city clerk for the last 20 years, but I feel it is now the right time to resign and give someone else the opportunity to serve,” said Torgerson.
In 2016, Atascadero voters decided to make the city clerk position an appointed, rather than an elected position. To fill the newly vacated city clerk position, City Manager Rachelle Rickard is announcing the appointment of Lara Christensen to the position, effective March 6, 2017.
Christensen was hired as the Deputy City Manager in January, 2016 and assists the city manager in the administration and supervision of city affairs, in resolving constituent issues and provides guidance and advice to department heads. As deputy city manager, she oversees the day to day operations of the city clerk’s office.
Christensen graduated cum laude from Southern Methodist University School of Law where she earned her Juris Doctorate, and the University of California Santa Barbara with a bachelor’s of arts degree in communications. Prior to joining the City of Atascadero, she spent 10 years at the City of Chino Hills where she started as their Management Analyst in the Community Services Department and promoted to the positon of Assistant City Clerk.
Christensen is a Certified Municipal Clerk, belongs to the International Institute of Municipal Clerks and the California City Clerk’s Association, and is currently working on her Master Municipal Clerk designation.
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