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Sunday, August 03, 2008

City Clerk to Leave Davis for Job with City of Menlo Park

During Friday's traditional early morning August 1 City Council Meeting very little of substance occurred for the largely ceremonial meeting. By law, the city council must meet at least once each month. Normally they meet at least two and often more than three or even four times. However, during the month of August, the council takes its summer recess. So ceremonially they hold an early morning meeting on August 1, usually with an abbreviated calendar, although the last two years they had controversial discussions (West Nile Spraying in 2006 and a discussion on Land Deal with Steve Gidarro in 2007). This year the meeting consisted of two consent items. It was wrapped up in less than thirty minutes and the council is adjourned until mid-September.

The big announcement came from City Manager Bill Emlen who informed the council and the public that City Clerk Margaret Roberts was leaving the City of Davis to become City Clerk at the City of Menlo Park.

I am often critical of city staff. In fact, I would be hard pressed to think of anyone else I would write this for. However Margaret Roberts was an exception to the rule. In a city where getting information often feels like a battle and half the time I feel games are being played both with myself and with the public, Margaret Roberts was the consummate professional. She always did her job, she was always courteous, respectful, honest, and yes, professional. I am very sad to see her leave.

She was the access point to information about the city. All public records request, of which I have made dozens in the last two years, go through her. Only once did I ever have a problem receiving public records, and that was not the fault of Ms. Roberts.

Fortunately, not only was Margaret Roberts an excellent city clerk, she has an excellent support staff. The city is left in the very capable hands of Deputy City Clerk, Zoe Mirabile. However, I think I speak for many, Margaret Roberts will be sorely missed.

---Doug Paul Davis reporting