When Carol Baumgartner first took on the role of municipal clerk for the Town of Parker, there were fewer than 300 people in the town. Forty years later, Baumgartner, who also helped incorporate the …
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When Carol Baumgartner first took on the role of municipal clerk for the Town of Parker, there were fewer than 300 people in the town.
Forty years later, Baumgartner, who also helped incorporate the town back in 1981, has decided to retire.
Baumgartner, a resident of Parker since 1976, was one of the town’s original residents who sprung into action after seeing that their community was missing essential services and amenities.
“There was a group of us that decided that we needed to have our own destiny because the county wasn’t doing a lot for us at that time,” she said.
Back then, many roads weren’t paved, there wasn’t any snow plowing and there were unfinished and ramshackle buildings lining the streets, she said.
“The town was kind of a mess,” Baumgartner said. “It didn’t look like it does today.”
Baumgartner began as town clerk in 1981, when it was a volunteer position, and has served in the role, which later transitioned to a paid position, ever since. In the early years, she also worked the job of human resources, bookkeeping and more, she said.
“Back then it was a lot more work. We had to do everything,” she said. “We didn't have a lot of staff.”
Eventually, the town brought on additional personnel and Baumgartner’s role shifted to a traditional clerk position, which includes serving as the secretary for town meetings and the special licensing authority, running elections, acting as the custodian of records and doling out some licenses and permits.
Baumgartner has seen three town hall buildings during her time in Parker.
“I think things have materialized to where they should be. The town has come a long way from where we started,” she said.
Since the town was incorporated, Baumgartner has watched as growth and development have exploded in the area.
“I’ve seen (the town) as an infant, as a teenager and now as an adult,” she said.
Baumgartner said what stands out about the town in her eyes is the way it’s run.
“Parker manages well and I think that’s why people like to live here,” she said. “They listen to the people. I know people don’t think they listen, but they do. What they can change or help, they will.”
Looking forward, Baumgartner hopes to see the town complete its buildout and continue on the same track, she said.
“I think they have a good council, I’m hoping that they all get along,” Baumgartner said. “That’s the thing I would hope and that they try to compromise on things and not get upset with one another.”
Mayor Jeff Toborg, along with former mayors Greg Lopez and David Casiano, presented Baumgartner with a plaque from the Municipal Clerks Association during her final town council meeting May 3.
Baumgartner was chosen for the recognition in 2020, but due to the pandemic was unable to receive the physical award until the town council meeting.
“Carol, the Town of Parker would not be the community that it is today if it wasn't for your dedication, if it wasn't for your love for our community and if it wasn't for you always helping all those new elected individuals that the community brought forth before you,” said Lopez, who joined virtually. “Because I know they all relied on you, every single day.”
Toborg and Casiano read the nomination letter for Baumgartner's award, which was in the category of “Outstanding Contribution to a Municipality by a Clerk or Deputy Clerk,” during the meeting.
“Carol … has been the one dependable constant for one of the fastest growing municipalities in Colorado,” according to the letter, signed by Michelle Kivela, town administrator.
The letter details several accomplishments of the clerk’s office under Baumgartner’s lead, including transitioning all meeting packets and voting systems to electronic formats.
“Thank you for always reaching above and beyond,” Toborg said in the meeting.
In retirement, Baumgartner is looking forward to spending time with her three grandchildren, ranging in ages from 14 to 28.
The town’s deputy town clerk, Chris Vanderpool, will be the acting town clerk until the position is filled during a formal hiring process, a town spokesperson said.
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