North Bend city clerk retires
October 2, 2008 · Updated 2:25 PM
NORTH BEND It's been a good nine years for
Dolores Beauchene, city clerk of North Bend, but it's time to retire.
Beauchene, affectionately known as "Dee" at City Hall, has been
someone to depend on, someone who's cared for and helped organize city
staff and council members.
"Dee is a jewel," North Bend Mayor Joan Simpson said.
"She truly has been a gem for the city. I
personally will miss her as a great friend, but she
has also been a friend to the whole community.
North Bend Mayor
We're very sad to see her go."
Beauchene is retiring from the busy job to her new home on
Lake Samish near Bellingham. She wants to spend more time with her
children and grandchildren, some of whom live in the Bellingham area.
Learning to paint and writing novels are other things Beauchene is
looking forward to starting.
Beauchene also wants to start her own consulting business where, as
a certified municipal clerk, she would substitute for other city clerks
when they take vacation or have sick time.
"I really think there's a need for this," she said, explaining that when
a clerk is away for a few days, work backs up.
Simpson stressed that Beauchene has served a vital role in running
"She's been such an important part of my administration. She's
extremely detail-oriented, organized and upbeat," Simpson said. "She keeps
everybody on board, she anticipates all of our needs."
Beauchene was around when Simpson was a councilwoman
and was considering running for mayor five years ago.
"She's the one in the background that doesn't take credit for things,
but keeps things organized and running in a very methodical way. Every
new mayor should be so lucky as to have someone like Dee," Simpson added.
Councilman Ed Carlson agrees.
"Dee was probably the primary interface between the
administration and the council," he said.
"Anything that was coming to us went through her at one point or another, so
she's very important. If a council member had a question, we knew that
whether we liked the answer or not, we knew that we were getting the truth
from Dee she didn't sugarcoat it."
Carlson added that there has been far less conflict between the
council and mayor than with previous city administrations, primarily because
"She kept the lines of communication flowing freely. She was a lot
of fun to work with and she spoke her mind," he said.
So what does a city clerk do? What doesn't she do may be a better
"The whole job is a challenge, to tell you the truth," Beauchene
said. "You have to fit everything in a schedule, and it's a busy schedule."
The clerk handles public disclosure requests, schedules the front
office staff, goes to City Council meetings, is in charge of all city
records, agreements and contracts and follows through with signatures,
resolutions and ordinances.
"I've got many other things to take care of, but they're too numerous
to mention," she added.
Beauchene explained that the most challenging part of the city clerk's
job is to remember important dates, such as public hearings. Also, if the
clerk's job requirements are not met, it can mean a loss of funding for the city.
"Everything has to get out on time because it's like dominoes: If I
miss something, it all goes down the line," she said. "If you're not on time
with those things, they don't take place."
Although Beauchene is looking forward to retiring and living in
her new home, moving on is bittersweet. She'll miss her co-workers, the
North Bend residents who came in to say hello or volunteer their time and
"As far as a scenic place, I don't know if you can match it," she said.
" I think it's breathtaking when you're coming down I-90 and Mount Si is
just suddenly there.
"Most of all, I have totally enjoyed working with [the] council and
staff," she added. "And working for Joan [Simpson] has been just wonderful.
I don't know that you could find a better mayor."
Beauchene's last day is Dec. 22, so anyone giving good-byes must
stop in before then.
Her replacement is George Martinez, who has already started
at City Hall.