Siebken keeps records for council, public

Dawn Siebken knows what’s on every Fort Dodge City Council agenda days before the elected officials meet.

Preparing that agenda is one of her duties as deputy city clerk. She gathers the information on every item to be acted upon by the council, drafts the agenda, prepares printed copies of it and its supporting documents, and also posts them on the city’s web site.

Siebken is the custodian of city records, but there’s more to her job than documents.

”Jeff always says I’m the face of the office and so I help direct inquiring customers at the counter,” she said, referring to Jeff Nemmers, the city clerk and finance director. ”However, I believe everyone who works at City Hall provides quality customer service for our citizens.”

During mayoral and council elections, Siebken is the primary person accepting, checking and filing the petitions candidates must submit to get on the ballot.

Notarizing documents for the public for free is one of the services she provides.

”I’ve been a notary public with the Iowa secretary of state since April 1996 so I often notarize documents for city officials and the general public,” she said. ”If you need your signature notarized, bring picture identification and your document and I can assist you with that.”

Issuing pet licenses has been one of the more enjoyable services Siebken has provided over the years.

”You get to hear about everybody’s pets,” she said. ”You’re writing these tags up and they’re bragging about them.”

She said one time an individual came to the Municipal Building to get a license for their Chihuahua and revealed that the tiny dog was stuffed into a pocket of the coat they were wearing.

Siebken began working for the city as a part-time secretary on June 20, 1994. She initially worked with the city inspectors.

In 1997, she became the full-time secretary for the Planning, Community Development and Building Inspection Department. That was the predecessor of today’s Engineering, Business Affairs and Community Growth Department.

In 2001, she moved to the city clerk’s office.

She was named deputy city clerk on July 14, 2008.

In 2010, she earned the designation of Iowa certified municipal clerk from the Iowa Municipal Finance Officers Association.

”That was a big accomplishment,” she said.

To earn that designation, she completed training on elections, budgets, City Council rules and procedures, legal terms, records management and the open meetings law.

To maintain her status as a certified municipal clerk, Siebken attends the Municipal Professionals Academy held every year in July.

She earned an associate’s degree and an administrative secretary diploma from Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge. Before joining the city staff, Siebken worked for Decker Truck Line Inc. and Service Parts Headquarters, which was an auto parts store in Fort Dodge.