By Kristen Miller
DASSEL, MN After 24 years as deputy clerk, Sherrie Bjork is retiring and passing on the keys to the City of Dassel.
Bjork’s last day on the job was Jan. 31 which she spent training in the new clerk/treasurer Terri Boese, who spent more than three years working in the same capacity for the City of Ely.
As deputy clerk, Bjork enjoyed working with people and getting to know how the government works, she said.
Her first day on the job was Jan. 25, 1989. “Things have really changed [in city government] from when I started,” Bjork said.
Though she will miss the people, Bjork is planning to enjoy her retirement by volunteering in the community and at the Dassel History Center.
Basically, she is looking forward to doing some of the things she never got to do when she was working every day, Bjork said.
City Administrator Myles McGrath said he is “saddened to see Sherrie leave . . . she has been my right-hand person for the seven years I’ve been here.”
With Bjork having so much of the institutional knowledge regarding the city, McGrath said “I already told her I will be calling her from time-to-time.”
A new face in town
When Boese came to Dassel for her first interview, she said it felt like home.
Then, when she noticed that her City of Ely key chain matched the City of Dassel’s logo with the sun, water, and trees, she knew it was meant to be.
While as a clerk/treasurer in Ely, Boese also was the Region 2 vice president of the Minnesota Clerks and Finance Officers Association for two years.
“She’s very qualified,” Bjork commented.
McGrath agreed. “Terri comes to us with a great deal of experience,” he said. “She seems to have a lot of energy,” he said, there would be new technology introduced in the future and Terri will likely be the one to lead that.
Ely, with a population of 3,460, has approximately 20 boards, commissions, and committees. Boese attended at least five meetings each week and worked about 50 to 60 hours for the City of Ely.
“I’m looking forward to less meetings,” she said, commenting that even though Ely was a small city, it liked to run like a big one.
Prior to her position in Ely, Boese was the human resources manager for Home Depot in Denver, CO. Before that, she was the clerk treasurer for Pequot Lakes.
“I’ve been everywhere,” she commented.
Boese is looking forward to another new adventure in Dassel. “It’s always fun to meet new people,” she said.
Having driven five hours from Ely for her first and second interviews, Boese said her motivation to move was to be closer to her children and grandchildren, who live in Elko, Anoka, and Illinois.
What she likes about being a clerk is that each day is different. “You learn something new every day,” she said. “I like the challenge of learning new skills.”
Dassel City Hall is currently in transition from a deputy clerk/treasurer position to a clerk/treasurer position, meaning Boese will share some of McGrath’s responsibilities. Some of her duties will include overseeing the audit, elections, budgets, and all correspondence with the state and federal government reporting forms.
In her first week on the job, Boese was planning on reading minutes and watching council meetings to bring her “up to speed” on the city’s business.
Boese is also looking forward to local volunteer opportunities.
In Ely, she volunteered for the Range Women’s Advocate program, served as treasurer on the Ely Rotary Club, and volunteered with the Northwoods Hospice Respite Partners. In Colorado, she volunteered as a victim’s advocate.
“I love to help people,” she said.