FRENCH LAKE TOWNSHIP, MN Rosanne Peterson has seen a lot during her 22 years as the French Lake Township Clerk, but the time has come to give someone else a turn.
“I took the clerk job because the former clerk told me it was a good part-time job for a stay-at-home mom,” Peterson said.
It was, but Peterson’s daughter is now 23 and Peterson no longer stays at home. She juggles two jobs, working as a morning and afternoon driver for M&M Bus Company, and working as a cook/cashier in food service at Annandale High School.
The biggest change in the past 22 years has been the move from recording things in big, hand-written ledgers to doing everything electronically through the CTAF accounting program. She also had no email or Internet when she first started and now everything is done electronically.
“There have been a lot of changes,” she said. “When I started, everything was done by hand. It’s easier now that we have CTAF and I saw that conversion.”
Another big change has happened slowly, over the course of her 22 years.
“When I first started, we had no tar roads,” Peterson said.
Now, four sections of roads are paved in French Lake Township. These roads are around Lake Sylvia and Lake Francis and came at the request of nearby homeowners.
The township organized the paving and held public hearings to get community input first. The work was paid for by the homeowners who live along those stretches of road.
As clerk, Peterson’s duties included handling all the township paperwork, renting the town hall to residents, and helping organize coating for roads to keep the dust down.
She said the job is very part time and she has worked from her home. She has one busy weekend a month prior to the monthly meeting, when she spends about four hours getting everything prepared for the meeting.
Through it all, Peterson’s favorite part of the job has been meeting and working with the township residents. She said she may be back in the future to assist as an election judge.
“I really like the people,” she said, adding that election years are the busiest, but she still has fun. “We’re busy with elections, and you get to see people and talk to them.”
Peterson had to file to be elected clerk every two years, but said she never had an opponent. This year, she knew she was ready to give it up, and made it known, so that others would apply for the job.
Three people stepped up and filed for the position. Elections took place March 8, and Breanna Chapman was elected the new French Lake Township Clerk, with 18 total votes. (Clerk candidate Debbie Schauer received 17, votes and Rachael Lee Desens received six votes.)
“I will help the new clerk transition,” Peterson said. “It’s kind of sad, but kind of exciting too.”