There are those that are out front in government, setting policies, defining goals and explaining the big picture. They’re the elected officials or the top appointed officials, such as the city manager or the finance director, to name just a couple.
They plot the course government should take and then hand it over to others to ensure the plot is followed, the course is clear and the government runs smoothly.
The City of South Pasadena has scores of those employees hidden from public view who spend tireless hours doing the required tasks, ensuring the foundation on which the city must stand is strong.
So Pas lost one of its finest recently when Chief City Clerk Marc Donohue, 31, announced he was leaving to take a similar position in his city, Eastvale. Donohue has been the head city clerk for just over a year, having started back in March of last year.
City Manager Stephanie De Wolfe announced Donohue’s departure during the May 1 City Council meeting as part of her public comments. She said Donohue was a most valuable member of the city staff and that he will be missed.
“The second item I want to announce is our City Clerk, Marc: tonight is his last meeting with us here at the city,” DeWolfe said during the meeting. “While I’m really mad at Marc for leaving us because he’s been a fantastic member of our team, I’m really happy for Marc because he’s acquired another position that will reduce his commute time from approximately an hour-and-a-half each way to about five minutes each way. And Marc has three adorable little people at home so I’m really happy that he’s going to have those three hours to spend with his family every day instead of on the road. So, I just want to say to Marc, thank you so much you’ve been a fantastic member of our team. We’re really sad to see you go but we’re really happy for you in your new endeavors.” At which time, the assembled crowd broke out in a thunderous round of applause.
The ever-popular Donohue is returning to Eastvale, population about 63,000, where he once served in a similar position. In fact, So Pas was his third city clerk position.
“I was previously the clerk in Eastvale,” Donohue said in a short interview at City Hall during his last day on the job on May 2. “I worked there before and then I was the clerk in Rosemead. This is my third one.”
Donohue said although the commute aspect of the job was finally too much to turn down, he “struggled” with the decision.
“I still did struggle with the decision because I do love it here,” Donohue said. “It was hard even though people think it wasn’t. I love it here. All the City Council here is great. The city leadership here is great. The community is really fun to work with.”
Donohue’s first official City Council meeting was May 3, 2018, and the year has gone by fast, he said. He remembers the city elections as being one of the best times on the job. The city had three elections last year and one School Board race. The city had two councilmembers running for re-election, one uncontested and one contested, as well as the utility users tax that was on the ballot. It was a busy time, he said.
“It was fun running last year’s election,” he said. “I enjoyed that. And just working with all the voters, explaining the issues and the projects that go on here. It’s been a pleasure. I will always keep fond memories of South Pasadena. I want to say thank you to the community. It’s the best.”
The So Pas Chief City Clerk is responsible for budgeting, long range-planning, records management, public information, and public engagement as well as running the main office in City Hall. The position reports to the city manager. The pay range is between $91,848 to $123,096 annually.
Donohue, who has been married for the past five years and is an avid hockey fan, was not at the top step of the pay range, he said. Moreover, his new position in Eastvale is not only closer to home but will provide him with a pay increase as well. But in the end, it comes down to family for the personable departing City Clerk.
“I’m looking forward to not commuting 15 hours a week,” he said with a smile. “I have three little kids and being that much closer to home is awfully nice.”