City Clerk Magali Valls will retire from her post on July 5, but she may not be clearing out her drawers at city hall for a while.
“The time has come for me to benefit from the fruits of my labor and enjoy the remainder of my life with my family,” Valls wrote in her resignation letter dated May 30. “I believe that providing you with a one-month notice of my intentions will be ample time to allow you to find a replacement.”
During her 21-year tenure, Valls worked with five mayors and city managers and oversaw 24 elections.
To make a “least disruptive” transition, the city manager has recommended that Valls takes a $50-an-hour part-time position until a replacement is found.
“I recommend that she be allowed to continue her current role as city clerk, but in a part-time position,” said City Manager Ron Gorland, who read his recommendation memo to leaders at the June 10 city council meeting.
Gorland said that he “validated” Valls’ willingness to continue serving as city clerk for an “indefinite period,” though she could not exceed 59 hours per pay period.
The part-time position would max out at $76,700 per year.
Deputy city clerk Suzanne Hitaffer would be the “lead candidate” for the seat, Gorland said, but she has “just a little over two years left as an employee.” Hitaffer works alongside Valls and an aide in a secure room, with bullet-proof doors, on the second floor of city hall serving the small town’s 14,000 residents.
“It would be unnecessarily disruptive to make another city clerk change in such a short period,” Gorland said.
Valls and Hitaffer have worked extremely well together for 19 years, the memo shows, and they will continue to do so if this “transitional succession plan” is approved by the council.
“We thank her for hanging around,” City Councilman Billy Bain said before the council voted 5-0 to approve the succession plan. “I don’t want her to feel obligated that she owes anything to the city.”
The council then voted 5-0 to approve a city clerk recruitment plan and start the search for Valls’ replacement. Next, the city would advertise the job, along with the minimum requirements, and post the opening on its website.
Some of the clerk’s duties, the description shows, include monitoring revenues and expenditures, assuring sound fiscal control, preparing minutes and providing public-records information to the public.
Valls currently earns $104,463, which includes salary and benefits, according to the city.
The starting salary range for the new city clerk is expected to be between $71,000 and $95,000.