Christensen starts new role as Rifle clerk
Although she started her first day as Rifle city clerk Monday, the position is not exactly uncharted territory for Kristy Christensen.
Having served as deputy city clerk for the past five years — during which she completed the Certified Municipal Clerk program though the International Institute of Municipal Clerks — under former clerk Lisa Hamilton, Christensen is both familiar with the responsibilities and the staff. Council approved her appointment to the position Sept. 2, replacing Hamilton who after five years as Rifle clerk said she wanted to explore other options.
This first week on the job is a busy one, Christensen said in an interview Tuesday. Less than 24 hours prior, she swore in the four members recently elected to council in an organizational meeting Monday evening. With another council meeting Wednesday and the need to finalize the election by the end of the week, there certainly is no shortage of things to do, she added. The first-week chaos has not dampened the excitement.
“I’m looking forward to being part of the team and seeing where as a team we can improve and make things better and continue to make Rifle a great place to live,” she said.
That word great is an important one for Christensen who moved to Rifle 15 years ago.
“That was the reason we settled in Rifle — I thought it would be a great community to raise the kids.” With her eldest daughter now a junior at Colorado Mesa University and her other daughter in her senior year at Rifle High School, the decision has been met with few, if any, regrets, said Christensen, who enjoys spending time outdoors with friends and family when she’s not working.
Once things settle down, Christensen said she plans on exploring ways to simplify and streamline processes to benefit both the employees at City Hall and the residents of Rifle — a task that she has some experience with.
Shortly after being appointed deputy city clerk in 2010, Christensen hatched the idea of electronic council packets, something she noticed other local governments had already implemented. With help from the IT department, the city introduced the digitized packets in 2011.
Christensen hopes to make similar improvements in the clerk’s office, which is responsible for maintaining records, coordinating elections, liquor and marijuana licensing, assembling meeting agendas and human resources, among other responsibilities.
While the job is no easy task, her coworkers at City Hall make it easier.
“The great thing about working here,” she said, “is this is a great group of people to work with. … It really is a group of people who want to improve Rifle for the better.”
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Former Rifle Bears standout turned starting running back for Western Colorado University Ty Leyba remembers it like it was yesterday.