Monday, May 11, 2009

Marcelle Marquardt ,City Clark

This story was taken entirely from the March 23rd 1978 Wagon Wheels issue of the Rich Hill Mining Review.
I like this story because it's about City Hall 30 years ago

Marcelle Marquardt left the labor force to be a full time mother but she always intended to go back to work when both her sons were out of school. But the old saying about mice and men holds true for mothers too.
One of the jobs Marcelle was interested in in Rich Hill was the position of City Clerk. However, the position became available before she did. Her youngest son was still in junior high at the time the council was looking for city clerk applications. But if it knocks twice it isn't opportunity and shortly Marcelle found herself in city hall.
The position of city clerk had appeal to Marcelle for two basic reasons - she doesn't like routine work and she does like working with the public. Being city clerk is anything but routine and there is plenty of public contact, said Marcelle.
Marcelle learned much about working with the public from her father-in-law and former employer, Fred Marquardt, she said. She also credits Mrs. Opal Heatherly, as do many former students of Rich Hill High, for having the background in commercial subjects to handle the duties of city clerk.
It was hard to track down all the duties of the city clerk due to the variance in the nature of the work. Basically the city clerk is responsible for the office work of the city of Rich Hill. Again Marcelle is quick to credit others. This time it's her co-workers, assistant clerk Beth Smith and secretary Renea Castlebury. Much of Renea's time is spent in getting the utility bills figured, addressed and mailed. Beth handles the bank deposit and records when meters are turned on or off.
The other two women handle many of the complaints that come in, said Marcelle. However "the real hot ones" still go to Marcelle. Marcelle became city clerk in August of 1976 and inherited the problems that go with a major" Construction project the Rich Hill sewer system.

The paper work required whenever state or federal money is involved has occupied much of her time in the past year. Another time consuming task was preparing an application to HUD for a total water system package for Rich Hill.
The application narrowly missed getting funded and plans are to resubmit the proposal when the guidelines come out. She also handled much of the contacting and paperwork of getting a Man power grant for Rich Hill.Under this program three policemen and seven otherworkers have their salaries paid by the federal government. Much of the Manpower work has been done in the city park system.
Marcelle disagrees with the saying "You can't fight City Hall". Anyone with a complaint is heard and an effort made to work the problem out, she said. You can get something done or your problem aired by using reasonable discussion, she said.
While some people will complain no matter what the vast majority are not hard to work for, she said. Even with the inconvenience of the sewer con­struction and 10 days of pump trouble most people were very understanding, she said.
"Totally impossible", she said when asked about corruption in city hall. It would be very difficult to rip off the city funds due to the annual audit. ''If we mislay 15c the auditors will find it", she said. The federal funds for the various projects are received by the city only when requested to meet current obligations, she said. Even in the $15 petty cash fund the auditors require a receipt for each penny.
The adjustment back to a working woman required some changes in the household chores but there were big problems. Her husband, Ronnie, while not wild about her returning to work has supported her efforts, she said. She does miss working on the farm with him but everything has it's drawbacks. Her oldest son, Rocky, is attending the University of Missouri and her younger son, Zack, is a freshman at Rich Hill High.

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