Bio: Klinke, Lonna - To Retire After 35 years (Jan 2019)
Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon
Surnames: Klinke, Ortner, Tieman, Sloniker, Hanson, Moseley, Schecklman, Schar
----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI) 7/20/2019
Greenwood City Clerk to Retire After 35 years (Klinke – 31 January 2019)
Lonna Klinke was recognize at the Jan. 16 common council meeting for 35 years as the Greenwood city clerk. She received a gift from the city, and everyone celebrated with cake and wine. Her last day on the job is Jan. 31. (Valerie Brecht/Clark County Press)
By Valerie Brecht
Lonna knows a thing or two about the city of Greenwood.
She has been employed as city clerk since 1983, June 1. 2018 marked 35 years.
Klinke, whose last day will be Jan. 31, said it’s hard to believe.
“I don’t know where 35 years went,” she said. “Two years ago, I decided to retire and all of a sudden here it is,”
“You know, people ask me if I have my favorite memories, and I don’t know, they all kind of blend together,” Klink admitted.
“There’s too many memories to share,” agreed Debra Ortner, who has been Greenwood’s deputy clerk and worked closely with Klinke since 1994.
A big part of Klinke’s job has been assisting customers and serving as primary contact for the city, said Ortner. Klinke has also done accounting, budgeting and grant writing and has been an active member of the Chamber of Commerce. She has helped coordinate city events like the Easter egg hunt, Santa visit and Summer Fest.
“She was very involved in the 1891 to 1991 centennial,” said Ortner. “She’s very community-oriented.”
“She’s been very helpful and very accommodating in getting time off,” Ortner continued.
At one point, Ortner and Klinke both had kids in school. They would take turns going to watch their kids in sporting events and other events.
Ortner said she and Klinke have enjoyed a great working relationship and it’s been a pleasure working with her.
At Jan. 16 city council meeting, Klinke was recognized by the council and spoke a bit about her time as clerk.
“There’s been a lot of people around this table,” she said, gesturing to the conference room table. Klinke has worked with around 30 councilmembers over the course of her time as clerk, as well as several mayors, including Ron Tieman, Ed Sloniker, David Hanson, Robert Moseley, and presently, Jim Schecklman.
Besides the changing faces, there have also been some renovations to the city hall/library building. The police department used to be housed in the same part of the building as the city hall and Klinke had just a small space to herself. After that, Klink and Ortner had cubicles before moving to the present layout.
The mayor and councilmembers expressed their appreciation to Klinke at the meeting.
“I’m thankful for the teaching you’ve done for me and the patience you’ve had with me over the years,” said Schecklman. “It’s a very important position, no doubt. I always viewed it as a partnership, doing everything and teaching me all the things [you did]. You will be missed.”
With Klinke retiring, she has been training Kayla Schar to take over as clerk. Schar started Nov. 5.
“The last few months have been an incredible learning experience,” said Schar. “Loni knows Greenwood like the back of her hand, so I am soaking in all of the knowledge that I can before her last day. It may take some time; 35 years of knowledge is a lot to take in , in just a few short months. However, I have a drive to help Greenwood grow as a community and I look forward to following in Loni’s footsteps.”
Although bittersweet, Klinke said she was excited to retire and looking forward to having more time to spend at home.
There is no doubt that she has left a lasting legacy on the community she has served so faithfully.
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