By Steve Robinson | November 30, 2018 - 2:29 pm
Posted in Category: The Normalite

NORMAL – If possible, a good office assistant tries to anticipate his or her supervisor’s needs on any project. Such an assistant learns to put personal needs on the back burner when changes occur, as well. Sandy Fedden was considering retirement in 2017 when her boss, City Manager Mark Peterson, announced in 2016 he was going to retire this past March. Not wanting to leave Peterson’s successor, Pam Reece, in a position to have to find a new assistant immediately, Fedden opted to stay, she said at that time, until December

But with her daughter expecting her third child, Fedden surprised everyone and asked to retire at the end of November. On Nov. 29, the Town of Normal held a farewell function for Fedden who had worked for the Town for 38 years. The function was held at the Carol A. Reitan Conference Center of the Bloomington-Normal Marriott in Uptown. By proclamation as introduced at the gathering that day, the Town designated Nov. 30, her last day on the job, as Sandra A. Fedden Appreciation Day.

Fedden began her career with the Town in 1980 working for its Parks and Recreation Department working for its director at that time, the late Ron Blemler. After a few years, she moved on to the Town’s Public Works Department for a time before returning to Parks and Recreation. She moved from there to the Town’s Administration division in 1994, becoming an executive secretary moving up to the position of executive assistant of administration, the post she held as she left the Town on her last day of work.

While she was in the Town’s Administration division, Fedden, who started her career with the Town at age 21, has worked for all three city managers – David Anderson, Peterson, and Reece. Fedden said, “It’s been great” to have worked with the administrators the Town has had for as long as they have been here. “Every boss that I’ve worked for has been just fantastic,” Fedden said. “So have the people I’ve worked with. It’s just been phenomenal.”

Fedden said Peterson and Reece asked her if she would consider staying another year while the change of City Managers was in progress. Fedden agreed to give it one more year.

In addition to three city managers, Fedden has served for two mayors and 18 Town Council members. As part of her duties related to Town Council, she was responsible for planning thousands of meetings, coordinating hundreds of events and assembling over 600 Council packets.

The job has also afforded Fedden opportunities to meet some famous folks along the way, among them: Former President Barack Obama when he was a State Senator, Green Bay Packers Quarterback Aaron Rodgers, and 1960s-era singer Gary Puckett.

“When I took the job in ’80, I had just turned 21, and I was going to take this job in Parks and Rec and get a little bit of clerical experience and move on,” Fedden recalled. “And once I got here, it was a good fit. The people I worked for and with were great and time just kept going on, and here I am 38 years later.”

As part of her job, Fedden served on the board of the Town’s credit union and in 2007, served as head of the Town’s United Way Pacesetter Committee. During that year, the charity saw an increase in giving by Town employees of 113 percent over the numbers from the previous year.

“You get to meet a lot of people in this position, and to me, that’s rewarding,” Fedden said. “I like trying to help people and find a solution to their problems. You try to help folks find solutions so they don’t have to make multiple phone calls. That’s part of our customer service philosophy here. And having them say ‘thank you’ for what you’ve done for them is rewarding.”

Fedden said she will miss the people she has worked with over the years, and plans to stay in touch.

Fedden and her retired husband, Alan, have one daughter, Katie. Katie and her husband, Ethan Glasford, just had the couple’s third child. First on Fedden’s list of retirement adventures is to go to South Dakota to visit the newest grandchild.

Receives Thanks At Reception: At the reception held on her next to last day working for the Town, Reece thanked Fedden for her efforts. Peterson came to congratulate her on her retirement, and although he was not able to attend, Anderson sent her a videotape message congratulating her for her time with the Town. Between 50-60 people attended that function.

“I’ve Enjoyed My Jobs With The Town”: After putting in 38 years, Fedden summarized her time with the Town by saying, “I’ve enjoyed my jobs with the Town. I don’t have any regrets or complaints about them. The Town of Normal is a great place to work, and I will always tell people that.”

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