If new Albertville City Clerk Kim Olson told you that her dog’s first name is “Snowball,” one might be tempted to think the pet was named for its small rotund size and white fur.
Yet the dog, an American Eskimo mix, is neither small nor white. Its name refers to the manner in which the dog was rescued. He was rescued at a stray dog shelter after the dog was found being tossed like a snowball by children.
“He was 11 months old and was all scabbed over,” Olson said. “Now he’s doing very well. He’s a good, happy dog.”
Olson recently began her position with Albertville after a career in municipal government, yet it’s her first job as city clerk.
“It’s been very good,” she said of the job. “Everyone in Albertville and at city hall has been so very welcoming and encouraging.”
Olson comes to Albertville from the city of Independence, where she had worked as an assistant to the city manager.
Prior to that she was a deputy clerk in Plymouth, and had worked briefly for the Hoglund Bus Company one city to Albertville’s northwest in Monticello.
Her career in municipal government began in Plymouth in the late 1990s, where she grew up. She took a summer job in parks and recreation, and when a job opened up as an assistant to the city manager in St. Louis Park, her Plymouth supervisor suggested she would be a good fit.
She got the job and stayed at St. Louis Park for seven years, also having received her Minnesota Clerks Institute certificate.
After working for Hoglund for a year, she felt like she wanted to get back into municipal government. That led to her hire in Plymouth as deputy clerk before going to Independence in 2011.
“I chose to go to Independence because they had some good challenges in building and zoning,” she said. And unlike working for a larger city like Plymouth, she said working in Independence, “I did everything,” including being in charge of recycling.
Now, at her first job as city clerk, Olson said her Albertville experience has been positive.
“It’s been so exciting,” she said. “I like it. I’m really glad I made the move. It was so hard to leave Independence but I got my certificate to be a clerk and I felt it was just a good move.”
Olson doesn’t have to commute far. She and fiancée, Dan, live in Buffalo with Snowball and their other dog, Bear. Besides walking the dogs, she also enjoys painting, crafts and camping, and spending time fishing with Dan.
In Albertville she’s been busy with elections, licensing issues, records, city council meetings and budgeting.
Olson is also working closely with another recent staff addition, interim city administrator Bob Thistle. “We’re both feeling out how things work here,” she said. “He brings a real positive to the city council and staff.”
Olson also said she’s been getting to know Albertville and is impressed with what she’s seen so far.
“I’m getting a real sense of pride from the residents,” she said. “It’s really nice to work in a community that has those kinds of values. I want to do a good job. I want to bring good things to Albertville.”