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City clerk leaving Enumclaw ‘comfort zone’

Marcia Hopkins could have taken the easy road, sticking close to a circle of friends, remaining in a job she’s held for 17 years and serving a community she has come to love.

But in a move that will cause her to stretch her wings, both personally and professionally, Enumclaw’s longtime city clerk will soon be heading across the Cascade Mountains to assume the city clerk’s position in Richland.

“I’ve always kind of stayed in my little comfort zone,” Hopkins said, explaining her decision to broaden her horizons.

Her final day on the job in Enumclaw will be Friday. She will then pack her belongings, including Buzzy the Boston terrier, and head to the Tri-Cities.

Hopkins wasn’t seeking a new challenge when she visited Richland in August as part of a wine tour. But Washington state’s city clerks are a tight-knit bunch, she said, and Hopkins stopped by City Hall to say hello to the Richland clerk. She got more than she bargained for, first learning the Richland job would soon be vacant, then being asked if she was interested in applying.

“I thought it would be a good experience, a chance to update my resume,” she said.

But it was more than that. Hopkins followed through with the application process and, by the first of December, Richland offered and she accepted.

“It’s a new beginning, a new adventure,” she said.

Hopkins has been involved in the Enumclaw community outside her City Hall office. She ran the Kids Voting program when it was active in city elementary schools and, for years, was an integral part of the local Relay For Life program. She has been part of efforts at Plateau Outreach Ministries and the Enumclaw Senior Activity Center.

“I love to be involved,” she said.

For her efforts on behalf of the community, Hopkins received one of the early Hometown Hero awards presented by the Enumclaw Chamber of Commerce.

Her job duties in Richland will essentially be the same as in Enumclaw, Hopkins said – only the scale will change. The Tri-Cities community has grown to about 58,000 and the city has a roster of about 500 employees.

City clerks are the official record-keepers for a community, helping to set the agenda and keep minutes from City Council meetings, among many other duties. Additionally, clerks are responsible for meeting public records requests and assuring the city complies with open-government regulations.

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