New Dalton clerk a familiar facePublished 11:46am Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Dalton City Clerk/Treasurer Dennis Mosher is retiring — sort of — when new city clerk Rebecca Moe officially takes over at the first of the year. But Mosher is like one of those actors playing a lot of characters in the same movie. Mosher has played a lot of roles in and around Dalton, and retirement might be wishful thinking.
“I was an insurance agent, VP of a bank and owned the grocery store in town while being the part-time Dalton city clerk for 32 years,” said Mosher. “I spent 40 years in banking in Bertha, Ashby, Dalton and Underwood.”
Mosher will stay on part-time for a while to assist Moe during the transition, and is still on the board of directors of bank in Dalton.
So what does a city clerk/treasurer do in a town of 250 people in an area of less than a quarter-mile?
“A lot of paperwork and accounting, and the inventory for the municipal liquor store,” said Mosher. “The city is in charge of services such as street lighting in town, utilities and maintenance of city-owned properties including road maintenance and mowing. The biggest tasks are preparing the annual budget and preparing reports for the city council.”
Mosher said one of the biggest challenges during his tenure was assisting with the building of the water treatment plant in 2007. So what challenges are coming up when Moe takes over?
“Fitting everything in to 24 hours,” said Mosher. “There are a lot of details, time I spent on weekends and evenings working at home.”
Another challenge for the small staff is handling inquiries from the community.
“It’s tough, were here so people contact us with a variety of issues,” said Mosher. “Some you can handle, some you can’t.”
As if on cue, Mayor Julie Henderson pokes her head in the door to discuss an issue with the staff.
“Dalton is a nice little safe community with lots of good people that live here,” said Henderson. “We’re happy to have a clerk in training and Dennis in town in case we have questions.”
The city will take on paving sidewalks next spring on Main Street, and will need to address sewer lines at some point in the future.
“Streets and sidewalks need work, though we need to keep expenses down so people can afford to live here,” said David Schroder, Dalton’s part-time superintendent of utilities that shares an office with the clerk. “Our utility billings are about the same as Battle Lake, but it is hard to budget for a large project with so few people in town.”
Moe is well-suited to the financial tasks of her new clerkship — she is a full-time accounting student at M-State, and ultimately plans to become a certified public accountant. She moved back to the area in 2007, purchasing a house in Dalton next door to her mom, Sharon Spencer, where she lives with her two daughters.
“I wanted to raise my children here so they could get a strong sense of community and responsibility,” said Moe. “There is a higher level of accountability in a town like Dalton where everyone knows what you are doing.”
Moe worked at First State Bank in Ashby for six years before accepting the city position in Dalton.
“I’m really looking forward to working with the city council and getting more involved in the projects of the city,” said Moe. “I’d like to mainstream our work on the computer, including e-filing for taxes and monthly reports.”
After Moe takes over, Mosher hopes to find time to volunteer at the veterans home and have coffee in town in the mornings.
“I’d like to help out wherever I need to,” said Mosher. “My wife also has an extremely long to-do list for me.”
Chances are you’ll see Mosher around Dalton, in various roles, for a long time to come.