Farmington city clerk, deputy prepare for transition

Tuesday, August 7 won’t be just any Election Day for Sue Halberstadt – it will also be her last as Farmington’s City Clerk.

Sue Halberstadt Mary Mullison
Sue Halberstadt, left, will retire on August 31, and Mary Mullison, right, becomes Farmington City Clerk on September 1.

The 19-year city employee announced her retirement in April. Last month, officials hired Deputy Clerk Mary Mullison to take over the post on September 1.

Halberstadt said training her successor has been “on-going.”

“Anything I think she should know, I brought her in for it,” she said, adding that she’ll remain available to offer advice.

“Sue’s been very generous with her knowledge,” Mullison said. “I’ll have her on speed dial.”

Halberstadt hired Mullison, a musician and former teacher, in 2012 to fill a part-time position in the Clerk’s office. Mullison also helped with human resources before becoming Deputy Clerk and has become a driving force in digitizing city records. 

In addition to preparing for November’s mid-term election, Mullison said implementing Laserfiche will rank high on her initial to-do list. The new system will provide city staff with electronic access to city records on any property or project.

Mullison said her interest in digitizing documents emerged as she dug for information in old books of city council resolutions.

“This makes information pretty much available instantly, instead of having to go through dusty records, page by page, to find something,” she said.

While Halberstadt will miss this big change, she has seen many others during her tenure with the city. One big shift, she said, has come with hiring Economic and Community Development Director Kevin Christiansen and the city’s increased focus on economic development.

Also, new state and federal laws have made municipal jobs more complex, requiring an even higher level of education and professionalism. “The city has always been so good with hiring good staff, good thinkers,” she said.

Halberstadt said she will miss her co-workers. “This is one of the greatest jobs to have. I really enjoy serving as city clerk. I love the staff here… and look forward to coming to work every day.”

Mullison said following Halberstadt won’t be easy, but she’s looking forward to taking on more responsibility.

“It’ll be a challenge,” she said. “I’m ready for that.”