The City of Ely has a new clerk in Robert Switzer. Sworn into his new position on Monday in front of City Hall by Mayor Melody Van Camp, Switzer said he is excited to jump right in and get to work.
“I’ve had experience in both the public and more recently the private sector, and I’m excited because I really wanted to get back to the public,” Switzer said.
Switzer spent six years as the mayor of Ontario, Oregon, before switching fields, becoming a manager in the trucking industry. During that time, he earned a Masters in Business Administration from Western Governors University. He had previously applied for the position of Ely City Clerk, so when former city clerk Jennifer Winkle resigned in late July, he received an email.
“About a month and a half ago, I received an email from Jennifer [Lee] saying the position had come back open. They encouraged me to apply again so I did. I was invited for an interview in late August and they offered me the position shortly after,” Switzer said.
According to Van Camp, Switzer’s master’s degree and prior experience with public office made him stand out in a field of 15 interviewees.
“We were adamant about finding someone with a degree. We were impressed by his experience, he had everything we wanted,” Van Camp said.
The mayor pointed out the city had basically been operating without a true city clerk for a month and a half. Public Records Requests department head Jennifer Lee had been filling in as the Deputy City Clerk.
Switzer said his first order of business was to make sure all of the city’s accounts are “under order.”
“That is the first thing that I’m working on already is working with the accounts. But I’ll also be handling human resources and helping the city and their departments put together their budgets for next year,” Switzer said.
The previous city clerk Winkle resigned half-way through a 90-day job performance review from the city council after she was accused of insubordination.
Arriving into town just one day before being sworn in, Switzer admits he still has some transitioning to do to finish his move but that he is already looking forward to becoming a new member of the community.
“This really is a nice town,” he said.