Whitehorse Daily Star

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CALLING IT A CAREER – Norma Felker, who on Tuesday ended a 38-year career with the City of Whitehorse, says she was fortunate to have had ‘a darn good job.’ She’s seen here in February 2015.

Retiring stalwart served seven mayors, 13 councils

After 38 years with the City of Whitehorse, Norma Felker has retired. Her last day was Tuesday.

By Chuck Tobin on March 18, 2022

After 38 years with the City of Whitehorse, Norma Felker has retired. Her last day was Tuesday.

“She has made a significant impact on the City of Whitehorse during her time with the organization,” Mayor Laura Cabott said in a tribute to the assistant city clerk at Monday’s council meeting.

“She really is a go-to person. If you have a question ‘what is this, where’s that, how do you do this?’, Norma is your person.”

In an interview Wednesday afternoon, Felker said she’s planning to take it easy for the next six months to a year. Then she’ll start looking for things to do.

“What I figure is I’ll get involved with more volunteer stuff, maybe start with the food bank, stuff that I didn’t have time to do when I was working,” she said.

She will also be looking to enroll this fall in a carpentry course put on by the Yukon Women in Trades and Technology.

As a dedicated cat lover, Felker has been building houses for cats for years.

“I want to learn about how to do things the proper way instead of doing them the hard way,” she quipped.

Cabott noted that Felker joined the city in 1984 and became the assistant city clerk in 2006. Over that time span, she has supported seven mayors and 13 city councils.

“She has run multiple elections, including a by-election and a referendum, and has drafted numerous bylaws and enough city council minutes to fill a library,” said Cabott.

The mayor said Felker is a dedicated sports fan whose favourite sports are curling and baseball.

“Most of all, she is a warm and generous person who is admired and respected by many.”

When she was elected as mayor last fall, Cabott recalled, she was looking for a different desk, not a new desk, but one that would better suit her needs.

When Felker caught wind of it, she told Cabott there was one in the warehouse.

It’s the mayor’s desk now.

“Thank you, Norma.”

Career-wise, Felker said, she was not looking for anything in particular, but ended up with the city. She has no regrets – none.

“I have worked with really, really remarkable people,” she said. “I have watched what city council has done to meet city growth.”

Council and city administration have had to work really hard to address the growth, she said.

Felker said she’ll miss the people at the city, but not the work.

Having worked with seven mayors, she said she doesn’t have a favourite.

“But I will tell you that I admired what Dan Curtis did in terms of how he was the first one to get the city on track with building a strong relationship with the First Nations. He was about acceptance and inclusiveness,” Felker said.

“It was just something he promoted, that people be accepted for who they are and what they do, for helping make the city a better place to live.”

She said one of the hardest times in her career was when city employees went on strike decades ago, somewhere around the late 1980s or early 1990s.

“It was pretty tough to live through,” she recalled. “I was a union employee at the time and I was on the picket line. I never imagined I would be on the picket line.”

Felker said the strike was not that long, but felt like forever.

“I just remember it was a pretty traumatic time.”

The retired assistant city clerk said all in all, her time with the city was fulfilling.

“There is not many people that can say that after all these years they still loved the job, and I did,” Felker said. “It was a darn good job and I loved it for all these years.”

Comments (4)

Up 2 Down 1

Betty rwin on Mar 23, 2022 at 12:32 pm

It was great knowing and working with you all those years I was on Council. Have a terrific future no matter what you decide to do.

Up 6 Down 9

stephen on Mar 21, 2022 at 8:55 am

They will hire her back as a consultant at a high rate to train the new person. It's called double dipping and it happens a lot in the public sector. In BC at the pubic corporations it is crazy the cronyism and nepotism.

Up 10 Down 2

Nathan Living on Mar 20, 2022 at 2:20 pm

Norma was very professional and a great asset to the City of Whitehorse.

Up 29 Down 10

TMYK on Mar 19, 2022 at 7:21 am

So did they bother to train anyone who will do her job? I’m going to guess that they didn’t. Another new hire from out east when someone local is perfectly capable.

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