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Farewell lunch for Ripon City Clerk Van Laar
Retiring Ripon City Clerk Lynette Van Laar jokes with some of the city staffers who showed their support for the 27-year veteran working as the chief financial officer under the city administrator. Pictured from left are staffers Dennis Sonke, Don Meeuwse and Jake Loogman. - photo by GLENN KAHL

Lynette Van Laar has been many things to many people at Ripon City Hall for the past 27 years, from being city clerk to chief financial officer under city administrator Leon Compton.

She was honored Thursday noon with a potluck at Stouffer Park. Some 50 staffers and family members were in attendance showing their appreciation for an administrator they all considered a friend.

Van Laar and Compton signed onto the city staff roster about the same time when then-city administrator Clarence Smit unexpectedly passed away.

In addition to her city clerk and CFO job description, she mostly supervised the billing procedures.  She praised her staff, saying they all knew their positions and if left alone they did an excellent job, better than being micro-managed.

“Leon and I were never micro-managers,” she said.  “We learned a lot together.  The first year after Clarence passed away we looked and looked through the files.  I always loved working for the city – good people.  I look forward to seeing what Ken, Kevin and Lisa are going to do as the new leaders.”

Public Works Director Ted Johnston commented, “She’s been a great asset to the city – it has been like family.” 

Van Laar responded saying, “Poor Ted, he has been here longer than I have.”