ARTICLE

Clerk takes charge in Alburnett

OFF THE MAP

A pipe and cable locator and small shovel sit by the desk Alburnett City Clerk Sharon Robertson at  Alburnett City Hall in Alburnett on Friday, June 27, 2014. Robertson had to go out on Thursday to find the lot pins to define the lot lines of a property in the city. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette-KCRG TV9)
A pipe and cable locator and small shovel sit by the desk Alburnett City Clerk Sharon Robertson at Alburnett City Hall in Alburnett on Friday, June 27, 2014. Robertson had to go out on Thursday to find the lot pins to define the lot lines of a property in the city. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette-KCRG TV9)
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Editor’s note: Each week we will literally throw a dart at a map of Eastern Iowa. Where the dart lands, we’ll head in search of a story. We hope to discover and share stories of people and places we might not ordinarily take note of, but who make our communities special.

By Katie Mills Giorgio, correspondent

ALBURNETT — If you need to know something about Alburnett history or need to get something done in town, Sharon Robertson is your go-to gal.

She is president of the Alburnett Community Historical Society and works as the city clerk for the city of Alburnett. She’s a veritable one-woman show.

“People drop in throughout the day,” she said of her office. “In this size of a town you take the utility bills and the complaints. You are planning and zoning and animal control. When you are the only person in the office, you are everything.”

And Robertson said she takes everything in stride. The top of her desk features a gentle reminder: “don’t be crabby,” as well as a photo of her cat and several medallions from road races she’s run. Leaning against the front of her desk is a shovel and a pipe and cable finder. “We don’t have a public works person right now so the other day I was out finding lot pins,” she said.

She is focusing a lot of her attention on planning the town’s Benefit Day on Aug. 2. The 28th annual event includes a pancake breakfast, co-ed softball tournament, parade, big wheel races and much more.

Robertson said she probably knows all 673 residents of Alburnett, situated just a few miles north of Marion in Linn County.

“I enjoy meeting with the public and working with them,” she said.

Alburnett has a small town atmosphere, where people know and help each other, Robertson said. “If I’m out of the office, the delivery man knows he can drop it off next door and they will get it to me.”

“It’s a neat little town. We don’t have a big main street, but we don’t have a bunch of boarded up buildings either. It’s a well-kept little town.”

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