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City Clerk retires after 13 years

Sharon Dawson to be replaced by deputy city attorney

Posted: December 3, 2009 10:00 p.m.
Updated: December 4, 2009 4:55 a.m.

City Clerk Sharon Dawson stands in her office at City Hall. Dawson is retiring after working for the city of Santa Clarita for 13 years.

Nearly every piece of paper the city has produced or received has passed through City Clerk Sharon Dawson's office.

After 13 years pushing paper for Santa Clarita - and more than 30 years working as a clerk for other cities in Southern California - Dawson is calling it a career. Dec. 11, will be her last day.

Santa Clarita Deputy Attorney Sarah Gorman has already been chosen to replace Dawson, said Assistant City Manager Ken Striplin. Gorman will start at the beginning of 2010, he said.

The city clerk works as the city's institutional backbone. Clerks chronicle every city document, write every government agenda and run City Council elections.

Dawson, who turned 55 Wednesday, said improving computer and Internet technology has changed her job drastically since she started.

When she began her career in El Cajon in San Diego County, everything was written on a typewriter. Typing out minutes on a typewriter was tedious and time-consuming, she said.

"Typewriters and white out are not my friend," Dawson said, laughing.

Now, almost everything the city makes is stored electronically, she said. Technology has reduced the amount of paper coming through her office drastically.

The speed of the Internet has outdated every other form of technology. Fax machines have become almost entirely extinct, in favor of e-mail attachments, Dawson said.

Dawson said she'll spend more time doing charity work and gardening after she retires.


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