South Lake Tahoe City Clerk Susan Alessi to retire in July (updated) | TahoeDailyTribune.com

South Lake Tahoe City Clerk Susan Alessi to retire in July (updated)

After 32 years of working for the city of South Lake Tahoe, City Clerk Susan Alessi shocked some in City Council chambers Tuesday by announcing her early retirement.

Alessi, who was first elected to the clerk position in 2002, had previously announced she would not seek reelection this year. However, a number of factors started piling up in recent months, leading to Tuesday's announcement.

"It was a bag of mixed emotions," she told the Tribune afterward. "It's just time."

Alessi started considering early retirement sometime near February.

Among the many things factoring into that decision was desire to spend more time with family. Alessi said her parents are growing older and her daughter is engaged to be married in August. She and her husband, who is now semi retired, have two grandchildren that she wants to spend time with as well.

Still the decision wasn't easy.

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"One of my strongest values is … once you make a commitment you follow up with it," Alessi said. "I started feeling like it was imperative for me to bow out a little bit early and do these things that I don't want to miss out on."

Alessi is awaiting further information from the public employees' retirement system before settling on a firm retirement date, although it is expected to fall in July, she said during Tuesday's meeting.

The announcement appeared to come as a surprise to city officials Tuesday.

Asked if council would need to appoint someone to serve in an interim capacity, interim City Manager Dirk Brazil told council "this is news to us."

Attorney Nira Doherty made a similar remark, adding that she was unprepared to answer the question. She told council she would come back with an answer.

Alessi told the Tribune it will be up to council to decide if it wants to appoint an interim.

The job has had its ups and downs over the years, Alessi conceded, as had life beyond City Hall.

In 2014, Emily Ann Alessi, one of Susan's daughters, died by suicide. The loss was devastating and Susan was unsure she wanted to return to work.

"When something like that happens in your life, you really reassess your priorities and what's important in your life," she told the Tribune Tuesday.

Eventually she said she needed to "get busy" and she decided to return to public service.

Since her daughter's death she has helped with local suicide prevention efforts. Last September marked the inaugural Emily's Walk for Hope, which raised money to help reduce the stigma surrounding suicide.

Alessi also helped started a support group for people who have lost a loved one to suicide.

Alessi said she is proud of those efforts and her work for the city over the past 32 years.

"I've really enjoyed working in public service. I've enjoyed working for the people in our community."

ORIGINAL POST: South Lake Tahoe City Clerk Susan Alessi to retire in July

After 32 years on the job, South Lake Tahoe City Clerk Susan Alessi announced today she will retire from her position next month.

Alessi made the announcement during Tuesday's City Council meeting.

Alessi is awaiting further information from the public employees’ retirement system before settling on a firm retirement date, although it is expected to fall in July, she said.

Alessi's announcement came as a surprise to city officials.

Asked if council would need to appoint someone to serve in an interim capacity, interim City Manager Dirk Brazil told council "this is news to us."

Attorney Nira Doherty made a similar remark, adding that she was unprepared to answer the question. She told council she would come back with an answer.

The city clerk will be on the November ballot in addition to three seats on City Council and the city treasurer.

The Tribune will update this story as more details become available.

CORRECTION: This post originally stated Alessi was rumored to retire and not seek reelection. Alessi publicly stated she would not seek reelection in 2017.