Steamboat Springs Susan Irvine said she enjoyed the 12 years she worked in Hayden Town Hall but is looking forward to milder winters in Sedona, Ariz.
The outgoing Hayden town clerk starts her new job today as Sedona’s deputy city clerk, but she said she won’t soon forget the opportunities she was afforded in the Yampa Valley.
“I liked the job there and the variety of opportunities it gave me, but my family grew weary of winter,” she said. “I got exposed to a variety of operations in Hayden because it was such a small town.”
Irvine left Saturday for Sedona to begin her new job in the town of just more than 10,000 people. She said it would be different but exciting to work in a city with more than five times the population of Hayden.
“I was looking to live somewhere with a mild climate,” she said.
She said that unlike some town clerks in larger municipalities, she was familiar with the utility billing process, the planning commission, the building permit process and the police department in Hayden.
When she wasn’t at Town Hall, Irvine coached youth sports and recently finished directing the town’s youth baseball league after Hayden Parks and Recreation Manager Kathy Hockett resigned last month.
“I’m certainly going to miss the people in Hayden,” Irvine said. “If I could keep the people and keep the climate mild, I would probably still be there.”
Her husband, Bill, also was an active member of the community and was contracted to restore historic homes and buildings in the Yampa Valley.
“It’ll be hard for us to move from this town,” he said. “It’s a small community. You know everybody. My son is hanging out with the same kids in fifth grade as he did when he was a preschooler. We enjoyed every minute of it.”
Hayden mayor Jim Haskins said Susan Irvine will be hard to replace.
“The town clerks are always hard to replace,” he said. “Susan was the go-to person for the town manager, and there was always someone throwing stuff onto her plate. It’s sad to see her go, but I’m glad to see she found something she was looking for.”
Irvine said she enjoyed learning the inner workings of the city and helping the town transition from a statutory town to a home rule municipality in 2009, which allowed Hayden more flexibility in taxing and holding elections.
“I was involved in the whole process of getting a charter and getting it approved by voters,” she said. “It gave us more control over the town.”
Irvine began serving as deputy town clerk in Hayden in 1999 and was named town clerk in 2007. Haskins said town officials still are searching for her replacement.