Atascadero officials on Tuesday night appointed a new city clerk, who will take over after Marcia Torgerson retires following two decades of service as an elected official.
Lara Christensen, a deputy city manager, will take over as clerk on March 6, according to a city news release. Christensen oversees the day-to-day operations of the City Clerk’s Office in her current position, and is a certified municipal clerk currently working toward her master municipal clerk designation.
Atascadero voters in 2016 approved a ballot initiative to make the city clerk an appointed, rather than elected, position.
Torgerson was appointed as clerk in 1996 to fill a vacancy when Lee Price left before the end of her term. Torgerson was elected two years later and has been re-elected ever since. She also worked as a secretary in the City Manager’s Office and was eventually hired as a deputy city manager, a position she held until 2015. Her final day on the job will be March 3.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed being the elected city clerk for the last 20 years,” Torgerson said in a statement. “I feel it is now the right time to resign and give someone else the opportunity to serve.”
During her years of service, Torgerson coordinated the creation of the city’s Local Hazard Mitigation Plan and was the project coordinator for the City Hall Annex after the 2003 San Simeon Earthquake. In 2007, she created a Public Trust Project with ethics forums and workshops for all City Council members, city management, staff and the community.
“Marcia is a dedicated public servant, and I am thankful to have worked closely with her for many years,” Mayor Tom O’Malley said. “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.”