Columbus residents will be seeing a new face at city hall.
Megan Moen was officially sworn in as the city’s new clerk Nov. 20 by Deputy Clerk/Treasurer Pat Goebel at city hall in downtown Columbus. Moen began her new role Nov. 13 and takes over for longtime clerk Anne Donahue who retired Sept. 1 after nearly 30 years in the position.
Moen, originally from the DeForest area, comes to Columbus with some clerk experience, having served as a deputy clerk in Colorado for nearly a year.
“It’s a familiar world for me, coming from Colorado, but there have been a lot of differences,” Moen said. “It’s been a really good first week. My first task is to get certified with the Wisconsin election system so when we have our elections next year I’m already for that. Being from Wisconsin the laws aren’t totally cryptic for me, but I want to dig into them a little more and really understand them.”
Moen said she’s excited to work for the city and feels “honored” to be chosen for the clerk role. Moen, a Lodi High School graduate, has ties to Columbus. Her grandmother, Kris, attended school in Columbus and her father, Todd, was born in the city.
While her time in Colorado was short, Moen learned a lot about municipal government while serving as deputy clerk in Greenwood Village, a suburb of Denver. Greenwood Village is about three times the size of Columbus.
“It’s a very diverse place, so I was able to learn a lot in a short period of time,” Moen said. “I was really fortunate to get out there and get that type of experience in such a short period of time. I’m excited to bring what I learned there to Columbus.”
While she will miss the daily mountain views she enjoyed in the Rockies, Moen said she’s happy to be back home.
“I missed my family and friends when I was out there,” Moen said. “When you’re from the Midwest and you leave to go to a bigger city, it’s not the same. I feel like I’m more a part of the community here.”
City Administrator Patrick Vander Sanden believes Moen’s experience with elections will help her succeed in Columbus. While in Greenwood Village, Moen helped oversee a special election last year.
“With her experience as a deputy clerk in a larger community, Megan stood out in her interviews, sharing experiences in how she handled many aspects of the clerk’s job that will be asked of her in Columbus,” Vander Sanden said.
He also said Moen’s fresh ideas and background in technology should help next year’s elections run smoothly.
“Another positive that came out through the process was how she explained the use of technology to create efficiencies in records management and office management in her former job,” Vander Sanden said. “That could assist in potential improvements in our organization.”
Before starting her career in Colorado, Moen finished her associate’s degree in paralegal studies at Madison College. During that time, she also worked at the Wisconsin State Bar.
“I did that for two years and then went over to the legal services department,” Moen said. “It was really cool to be able to work with attorneys and be in that world while I earned my paralegal degree.”
In August of 2016, Moen began her bachelor’s degree studies in public administration from Southern New Hampshire University. Moen will finish that degree in May of next year. It’s been a couple years of constant change for Moen, but she has embraced everything that’s come her way.
“When I started that program, all I really knew was that I wanted to work either for a non-profit or the public sector,” Moen said. “I really started evaluating what I wanted to do with that degree and what direction I wanted to take and I really just stumbled onto the deputy clerk position at Greenwood Village.”
Moen has enjoyed politics since she was a child and is fascinated by local government.
“That is where the biggest change occurs and people can really impact their communities and get involved,” Moen said. “In elections, everyone can be involved, which is great.”