AP NEWS

Aragon Clerk Christie Langston announces resignation at month’s end

March 23, 2019

The City of Aragon is set to lose another employee this week in a high-level position after a resignation letter was turned in ahead of the City Council’s latest session for March.

City Clerk Christie Langston provided her two-week notice to Mayor Garry Baldwin in a letter on March 19, and let the council know of her intentions to leave on March 28. Her letter did state March 29, but in follow-up conversations with Langston she corrected the date to March 28.

Langston, who was appointed to the job in 2017 after serving as municipal court clerk, said in her letter the job was too much on her physical well-being.

“I do appreciate (the) opportunity that has been given to me, but my health can’t handle the stress this job demands of me,” Langston’s letter said.

In a follow-up statement, Langston added that “I would like to thank the citizens, Mayor and City Council for the opportunity to serve as the city’s clerk. It has been an honor for me.... I will each and everyone of you from the bottom of my heart.”

Langston’s departure at month’s end marks the second high-level employee to leave in 2019, and is among a long list of Aragon officials to leave under Baldwin’s tenure.

That list includes former Finance Officer Hal Kuhn, former City Attorney Vickey Atkins, former City Clerk Sandy Norman -- who was the only certified clerk in the city’s history, and earned it after her departure.

Also among those who have left are Troy Smith who used to be the code enforcement and building inspector, Josh Ozment, who held the same position, last year’s turmoil in the Police Department with four different chiefs hired, promoted or demoted, and in most recent weeks the departure of Public Works Superintendent Daniel Johnson.

Baldwin said in comments at the tail end of the Aragon City Council meeting on March 21 that Langston served faithfully as his “right hand.”

He added her job was the most important of all in the city, and that he understood the stress of that work follows anyone who holds the position home with them.

A posting for the position will be forthcoming to fill the City Clerk’s role, which has a variety of tasks including acting as the city’s human resource officer, handling of accounts receivable and payable, payroll, government filings, keeping meeting minutes and much more.

Adrianna Barton will take on the duties in an interim role after Langston leaves her post on March 28. Any new hire to the role will have to be approved by the Aragon City Council before they can go to work, and are sworn into the job by Municipal Court Judge Terry Wheeler.

The position is doubly critical to fill in the near term as the city begins preparations for an upcoming municipal election for the Mayor’s seat and two others on the council this coming November. The clerk also coordinates with the Polk County Board of Elections to ensure the election goes smoothly.