Monday profile: City Clerk Catherine Mythen Fletcher continues to keep Glenwood’s record amid pandemic
Over the years, Catherine Mythen Fletcher has worn many hats as Glenwood Springs City Clerk — and even a face covering while conducting April’s special election.
“It was a little stressful, I’ll be honest,” Fletcher said. “But, we pulled it off.”
As a result of the COVID-19 crisis and the financial impacts it has taken on the city’s budget, Fletcher was unable to hire election judges this year.
Instead, members of city staff volunteered to assist Fletcher and were able to process nearly 1,500 ballots and post election results just one hour after the final ballot box closed.
“They didn’t have any experience at all with being an election judge,” Fletcher said. “They did an absolutely amazing job. They were just wonderful to work with.”
For Fletcher, her colleagues’ willingness to help truly made this year’s special election exactly that — special.
A long way from Ireland
Fletcher grew up in Ireland, in the little town of Tagoat, where she spent plenty of afternoons exploring County Wexford’s endless fields and many evenings listening to the fierce ocean waves crash along the coastline.
The oldest of seven children, Fletcher grew up in a middle-class family and always looked forward to family dinners with her two brothers, four sisters, parents and grandparents.
“We ate a lot of potatoes, cabbage, bacon, steak…just not a lot of spicy food of course,” Fletcher laughed. “Really good fish and homemade fries, basically, but we call them chips.”
After studying hospitality in the nearby city of Waterford, Fletcher left home at the age of 23 and set out for Grand Cayman to work at the Hyatt Hotel.
From waitressing to helping out at the golf club, Fletcher had originally signed on to only work in the Caribbean for six months but ended up staying for seven years and continued to work her way up the ranks.
“It was a really great time,” Fletcher said. “I love to scuba dive.”
Eventually, though, Fletcher traded in the Caribbean’s warm waters for Colorado’s snowcapped mountains when she transferred with Hyatt to Avon.
“It was a little chillier,” Fletcher said. “Especially, when I didn’t have a lot of winter clothes.”
Fletcher never envisioned becoming a clerk but her organizational skills and excellence in customer service afforded her the job as Avon’s deputy clerk.
The career Fletcher had never imagined for herself quickly became her passion.
“I was out and about and somebody said to me, ‘I’ve heard the clerk is retiring in Glenwood Springs,'” Fletcher recalled. “My eyes lit up.”
In 2014, Fletcher officially became Glenwood Springs city clerk.
Not far from Fletcher’s desk in city hall, one can find handwritten records from city council meetings dating back to the late 1800s.
“It’s so nice to look at those and the amount of work that went in,” Fletcher said. “It’s a very nice piece of history.”
Over 130 years and several virtual meetings later, Fletcher has continued to document the city’s story throughout the COVID-19 crisis for future generations to look back on.
“We are very proud of Catherine in her role as clerk,” Fletcher’s youngest sister Michelle Malone said in an email from Ireland. “Catherine, as the eldest in our big Irish countryside family, has been a role model to us all and for that we love her.”
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