January 25, 2023 – Hartford, Wi – After 45 years working for the City of Hartford, city clerk Lori Hetzel is retiring.
“I was 19 years old when I started in the Treasurers Office,” said Hetzel.
Dan Lieven was mayor of Hartford, WI at the time. Hetzel started before Tom Jones took the job as Police Chief.
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“I’ve worked here longer than I’ve been married,” said Hetzel. Who also experienced several milestones including the birth of her daughter and her two grandchildren.
“I’m sad and happy about the decision,” said Hetzel. “I plan on just enjoying myself, and going up north. I’m just looking forward to being able to go take a three or four day weekend, whatever I want without worrying about what’s going on at the office.”
The favorite part of her job, Helzel said… people won’t believe it. “It’s elections,” she said. “I just like helping people to vote. It’s stressful, but still, still my favorite.”
“It was a hard decision,” she said. “I’ll be 65 at the end of September but I just want to enjoy the summer and thought, well, I’m going to be 65 and just want a few months to have the summer off.”
Looking back over 45 years, Hetzel remember the time Ronald Reagan visited Hartford. “He went to Broan Manufacturing,” she said. “I didn’t get to see him though. But I know. I know he drove through town.”
Hetzel was a clerk, even before the City of Hartford had an administrator.
“When I started, I think my pay might have been been like $3.87 or some weird thing like that,” she said.
City Administrator Steve Volkert said Hetzel has been a key part of the family atmosphere at City Hall.
“We’re excited for her,” he said. “But likewise, we recognize the incredible amount of wisdom she has had with this position. One of the biggest things she does is the elections. There is no doubt in my mind Lori has done the very, very best for the taxpayers and the voters in this community.”
“When was the last time you heard anybody working in the same place for 45 years, that’s an incredible accomplishment, but it’s also shows the dedication to the residents we have,” he said.
Volkert went through a list of long-term employees. “We’ve had several employees whoretired after 25 years, or 35 years; Mike Herman was 38 and a half years. We’ve had others who have been in 30 to 40 range, but 45 years, that’s an incredible commitment.
“We’re looking forward to trying to find a replacement, who, again, will show this kind of dedication to the community. I think that says a lot of the environment in which we have here; our staff gets along extremely well, all the departments get along extremely well.”
Volkert said they will be posting the postion for a head city clerk. “We’re hoping to get some quality qualified candidates,” he said.
Volkert said the city does have a deputy clerk, however she has “no interest to move up in for personal reasons.”
“Any department heads going to have additional hours and night hours and night meetings and things like that,” said Volktert. “The job is not for everybody.”
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Hetzel’s work anniversary is May 22. Her last day will be June 1, 2023.