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30-Plus Years - Longtime City Worker Bids Goodbye
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Nancy Lilly at her desk in November 2012 days before she retired as city clerk after more than 32 years with the City of Oakdale. - photo by RICHARD PALOMA/The Leader

On Friday, Nov. 30, City Clerk Nancy Lilly stepped away from Oakdale City Hall, ending a successful career that spanned more than 32 years. Her last official act was at Monday’s city council meeting where she swore in her replacement, Kathy Teixeira.

Migrating from her hometown of Bakersfield where she had worked in an office at a local hospital, Lilly started with the City of Oakdale on Aug. 4, 1980 – a date she immediately can recite – as a secretary for then City Administrator Michael Huse.

“We were definitely smaller with fewer employees back then,” recalled Lilly, whose initial duties also included assisting with personnel hiring and recruitments. “It was a simpler pace.”

During her tenure with the city, Lilly said she has seen the city departments grow (until lately with budget cuts) to the point of where they needed their own secretary.

“I was not only a secretary for the city administrator, but I was doing work for fire, recreation, and some public works (departments),” said Lilly. “I got to really know the city and the employees.”

In the 30-plus years with the city, Lilly recalled some memorable projects and incidents she was involved with such as the Y2K preparation, the city’s 150-year celebration in 2006, and disaster planning for the Stanislaus River flooding during swellings in the 1990s.

When City Clerk Becky Peluso retired in 2003, then City Manager Bruce Bannerman approached Lilly about becoming the new city clerk.

“I told him I would do it if he helped me,” said Lilly. “I had already been here for several years and worked alongside Becky. It was familiar to me.”

Lilly joked that as soon as she accepted the position, Bannerman also retired.

City officials all had high praise for Lilly

“When I first got to the council, Becky (Peluso) was fantastic and I didn’t think anybody could equal her talents,” said Councilman Mike Brennan. “When Nancy jumped in, she was right there if not better. She’s been a great help and can find anything we on the council need.”

“The city was really fortunate to have such a competent person,” added Mayor Pat Paul, who remembers Lilly being hired during her first term on the city council. “She did everything with grace and dignity. She was always supportive and worked quietly behind the scenes gracefully – a class act.”

Councilman Tom Dunlop praised Lilly not only for the job she did with the city but also her community service with the Oakdale Soroptimist Club. Dunlop said she was great to work with and would always find the needed information for the council members.

Outgoing Councilwoman Kathy Morgan joked that the only good thing about Lilly’s retirement was that they were leaving city service at the same time.

“She made my job easier in my eight years on the council,” said Morgan, who described Lilly’s work as exemplary. “She always has everything you need. She’s one of the most kind and positive persons I’ve ever met.”

“Nancy has been an extremely professional and talented city clerk,” said Oakdale Interim City Manager Stan Feathers. “I am very pleased to have worked with her during my time here. She gives it her all.”

Feathers added that the city was fortunate with Lilly’s replacement, Kathy Teixeira, who has worked for the city as an administrative assistant since 1990. Teixeira has been training with Lilly since the election including attending courses through the City Clerks Association of California.

The elected position of Oakdale City Clerk is the compliance officer for public records, the Brown Act, and Political Reform Act.

The actual city-paid position titled “Council Services and Legal Records Manager” prepares agendas, verifies legal notices have been posted or published, and completes the necessary arrangements to ensure an effective city government meeting, among other duties.

Lilly said she’s going to miss the people she worked with including her co-workers, council members, and various officials at the agencies she interacted with through all the years.

Lilly said she is looking forward to “not being on a schedule” and plans on using her retirement to travel with her husband of 32 years, Guy Lilly.

“I’m also ready to become a grandmother,” said Lilly, the mother of two married daughters, “not that there’s anything immediate happening.”