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A lot of things happened in 1986. The Space Shuttle Challenger blew us moments after liftoff from Cape Canaveral. Geraldo Rivera set the nation on fire after he opened up Al Capone’s vaults and found a whole lot of nothing. Actor/body builder Arnold Schwarzenegger married newscaster Maria Shriver and Donna Oleson started working for the city of Eudora.
25 years later, a lot of things are coming to the end. The shuttle program, the marriage of Schwarzenegger and Shriver and Oleson’s career with the city. Oleson’s last day as the City Clerk arrived on Wednesday and she has many memories of serving the community.
“I’ve spent almost half my life here in City Hall. It’s going to be a change” Oleson said. “I’m ready for it and I’m looking forward to another chapter in my life.”
Oleson started off as a utility clerk at City Hall in 1986. She eventually rose to the role of City Clerk in 1998.
“My most vivid memory was when we built the sewer plant in the 90’s,” Oleson said. “I think that was the biggest change I saw.”
Oleson has seen many good things and bad things in her time. “The most rewarding thing, has been dealing with taking care of the cemetery plots. Helping people in their time of need and grief has always been a great thing to do and get them over the hump when people are hurting the most.”
Oleson has contributed much to the City, not only as City Clerk but also as Secretary to the Chamber of Commerce and various other organizations and events.
“I loved the kids getting to visit Santa Claus each Christmas time. It was always really special.”
About the future of City Hall operations, Oleson told us “I am confident that the City is in good hand’s with our City Administrator John Harrenstein who does an excellent job on the budget. Pam Schmeck who will be replacing me and Renee Shackelford our Budget Analyst, and utility clerk’s Betsy Crabil, Christy Morriss, and Eileen Stuart.”
Oleson doesn’t know what the next chapter of her life will be.
“I want to do something. I can’t afford to not do anything, but until I figure out exactly what that is, I’m going to have a lot of fun being grandma.”
A retirement reception for Donna will be held on Thursday evening from 5:00PM to 7:00PM at the Eudora Rec Center. The public is welcome to attend.