At the tail end of the Tuesday night meeting, Berea Mayor Bruce Fraley announced "with very mixed emotions" that Cheryl Chasteen plans to retire on Feb. 1 after almost 28 years of service to the city.
"I have mixed emotions because I am very happy to have been able to work with her for nearly a year directly, and to learn from her," Fraley said. "I am sad to see her go, but I am happy for her."
He noted her new grandchild, making three for the long-time clerk, and said she would have her hands full in retirement.
"Cheryl, thank you for all of your service to the city. We are certainly going to be hearing more about your retirement and plans for celebration, but we wanted to get that out to the public today, and we hope to announce that position very soon," he said.
Council member Emily LaDouceur made "a fake motion" to deny the retirement request, which brought lots of laughter from those in attendance.
Fraley said the announcement comes early to get the word out in the hopes of finding a replacement for Chasteen, who would have a lot of knowledge to pass on to her successor.
"She has a lot to teach them, and a lot of knowledge, and we're hoping to get someone on duty where they can spend side-by-side time with Cheryl where she can teach them as much as possible," Fraley said. "And I am going to start paying as much attention as possible over the next couple of weeks. … Say it ain't so."
In other business, the city council heard from representatives from the Kentucky Small Business Development Center featuring the city's newest member for economic development, Vallorie Henderson, with a goal to communicate, collaborate and compensate what businesses are already in Berea.
A graduate of Berea College, Henderson said she is doing the work she is supposed to be doing by helping local businesses to establish business plans and generate marketing.
"It is great to be able to use my knowledge here in the city of Berea where art is alive," she told the council.
The next Berea City Council meeting will be Nov. 19 at 6:30 p.m. in the Berea Municipal Building located at 304 Chestnut St., Berea.
Reach Taylor Six at 624-6623 or follow her on Twitter @TaylorSixRR.