Getting it on the record

by Richard Gleeson
Northern News Services

NNSL (Jan 16/98) - It's not a job for people who don't have the patience for meetings, lots of meetings.

Preparing for meetings, and documenting what goes on at them, are big parts of Debbie Euchner's role as deputy city clerk.

It's a role she relishes.

Euchner denies ever feeling an impulse to shout out, "Get to the point!" at the numerous directors', committee and council meetings she regularly attends.

"It's the chairperson's responsibility to maintain order," she explains. "Unless called upon, I never say anything."

Euchner worked for a local law firm, as a legal secretary then office manager, for 10 years before taking on the deputy city clerk's job in June 1996. She acts as assistant to city clerk Tim Mercer.

The two are responsible for assembling agendas for meetings and recording what is said. The clerk's office also co-ordinates information for the city newsletter Skyline, assesses lottery-licence applications, manages all city records, handles most of the city's advertising and oversees elections and plebiscites.

Euchner had a tough time choosing a favorite part of the job.

"I enjoy all of it," she says. "The administration here is excellent; they're good to work with. I like working with the community, and this is a good position to meet a lot of people."

A lifetime resident of Yellowknife, Euchner says she has no plans to leave.

"I like it up here," she says. "Sure, the winters can be long, but like anything else, it's what you make of it."

Outside city hall, Euchner spends the summer months playing on two slo-pitch teams. During winter she's heavily involved in the bowling scene and she's an avid snowmobiler.