Rocklin City Council praises new city clerk

By: Brody Fernandez, Lead Reporter for South Placer
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In a short 55-minute meeting, the big Rocklin City Council news was the hiring of a new city clerk. Council members unanimously praised the decision as Mona Forster takes the helm as city clerk. She was formerly the deputy city clerk.

A resolution to appoint a new city clerk, along with an employment agreement, passed unanimously as Forster found out officially that she would be the new Rocklin clerk. The employment agreement includes a term of four years, beginning Sept. 5 of this year to Aug. 31, 2022 with an annual salary of $104,525 with benefits.

Councilmember Scott Yuill was the first to praise Forster on her new position.

“I think we all know that working with (outgoing city clerk) Barbara (Ivanusich), who was such a wonderful city clerk, that now there are some big shoes to fill,” Yuill said. “Fortunately, I’ve worked with Mona for quite some time as well and I’ve watched her develop perfectly into that role. The city is in good shape.”

Councilwoman Jill Gayaldo approved of the internal hire.

“I’m really pleased we have the opportunity to promote from within and we appreciate that you were ready to step in,” Gayaldo said.

Mayor Ken Broadway expressed his praise as well.

“Mona, it’s been a pleasure working with you so far at this point as the deputy city clerk,” Broadway said. “Change is always difficult. People are always fearful of change. From the city’s standpoint, we are in great hands.”  

Forster told Gold Country Media that she is grateful and excited to be the new city clerk.

In other council news

City Council unanimously passed a resolution, which declared an emergency and authorized the city manager to enter into contracts to repair a broken storm drain pipe and associated sinkhole without advertising for competitive bids.

Staff member Justin Nartker said progress is already being made.

“We initially estimated over $100,000 that was needed to fix it originally but we got in down to $70,000, so that’s a huge cost cutback,” Nartker said.

A special presentation on the city’s Graphic Information System (GIS) had staff members Josh Little and Lauren James explaining that software and hardware through the city’s website allow for better record data collection and means to analyze it. According to city officials, this new system will keep better records, geographically manage the city, improve communication, help make better decisions and create cost-savings for better efficiency.

Little talked about an interesting feature of the software system, the parcel viewer software, in which anyone can click on a parcel of land within Rocklin and find information about that parcel.
“Along with associated documents with that parcel,” Little said. “I’m excited about our new (GIS) dashboards. We are in discussion and collaboration with Lincoln, Roseville and other surrounding cities so this is a regional approach for awareness and engagement as well.”

Broadway hailed the new software program.

“I love the way GIS is progressing,” Broadway said. “This is a wonderful tool.”  

Yuill and Gayaldo introduced two groups and one individual to be submitted to the Wall of Recognition, created to recognize and permanently commemorate persons, families, business entities and community groups that have made lasting impacts in Rocklin. The wall is scheduled to be finished at the end of fall, according to Yuill.

Those recommended included Rocklin police and fire volunteers, who provide countless hours of service and expertise aiding Rocklin’s public-safety services to keep Rocklin a safe and desirable place to live.
Also recommended for the commemoration was the Ruhkala family. Raising 11 children, Finland natives Eva and Matt Ruhkala’s lasting family legacy extends throughout Rocklin, including City Council, school board, Lions Club, mothers’ club, historical society and the granite industry since the 1890s.

The third recommendation was Dr. Carlos Urrutia, who served 26 years as city manager. Urrutia’s acumen in public finance and urban planning guided Rocklin’s growth phase to a fiscally stable community with sound infrastructure and high levels of service, according to the council members. Council unanimously approved all three of Yuill and Gayaldo’s recommendations.