Cottonwood Heights’s New City RecorderSep 29, 2016 12:11PM ● By Cassie Goff
By Cassandra Goff – [email protected]
Cottonwood Heights, Utah - One of the many faces of the Cottonwood Heights City staff has recently changed. After many years of serving as the city recorder and human resource manager, Linda DunLavy retired. Paula Melgar will now fill the position of Cottonwood Heights city recorder.
Melgar is originally from Portugal. She came to the United States as a student and became a citizen soon after the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001.
“The way the American people came together to support each other inspired me to want to be part of this wonderful country,” Melgar said.
Now, she has lived in Utah for longer than she did in Portugal.
“I enjoy the beauty of Utah’s many landscapes,” Melgar said. “I like the volunteering spirit and civic involvement of residents, the wonderful communities we live in and neighbors always willing to lend a helping hand.”
Melgar has worked in local government for 16 years. She started working for a local police department, where she became a systems administrator.
“After a few years, I was offered a position with the city attorney’s office as a legal secretary. About eight years later, I transitioned to the office manager for the city attorney’s office and, as of two years ago, added the position of deputy city recorder to my duties,” Melgar said.
Melgar has an associate’s degree in business marketing, an accounting clerk certificate from the LDS Business College, a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice administration from Phoenix University, a master certificate in procurement from Villanova University and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Utah.
After just two weeks of serving Cottonwood Heights, Melgar received her certified municipal clerk designation. Melgar worked toward this achievement for about two years and rapidly accelerated through the program. Some of the painstaking requirements included 60 hours of education time, two years of experience and practicing the IIMC code of ethics.
“The municipal clerks conferences are packed with classes from early morning to late afternoon, with attendance rolls taken and a controlling board that makes sure you are actually there to receive the education you need. There is no golfing or afternoon free time,” Melgar said.
For Melgar, the best part about this achievement was getting to know the many municipal clerks.
“These clerks will go out of their way to make sure you get your questions answered, and that you receive the best advice possible. They want to see you succeed and will make every effort that you do,” Melgar said. “That was my favorite part about this journey and to now be among the elite group of clerks that share this designation is truly amazing!”
Melgar was drawn to Cottonwood Heights because of the mountains.
“Our canyon trails are just my favorite because I like to hike with my husband, daughter and our boxer, Fritz. My sons like camping too, but we are no longer ‘cool’ enough to go on those trips with them,” Melgar said.
However, she was drawn to the city staff for a different reason.
“Cottonwood Heights is for sure doing their own thing, their own way and setting an example on how to do it right,” she said. “I didn’t see how I could go wrong here. I still don’t see it. Who wouldn’t want to be part of such a winning team?”
After serving the city for a few months, she noticed how Cottonwood Heights had a team of dedicated and hardworking employees who had earned an excellent reputation among other cities.
“I am absolutely thrilled about working with these great people who have different points of view, but know how to speak to each other and find common ground to make the best decisions based on the information available at the time,” Melgar said. “They truly seek to represent the community with the highest consideration and integrity. I’m very impressed by these individuals who are always courteous, kind and fun to be around.”
Melgar is pleased to serve the Cottonwood Heights residents because she has seen the community is very education involved and committed to understanding the issues and making a difference.
Not only is this Melgar’s first year working for Cottonwood Heights, but it was also her first year enjoying the city’s Butlerville Days with her family.
“We had a great time watching movies, going on rides and checking out the cool rides at the car show,” Melgar said.
Melgar described herself as a happy and positive person who always tries to look at the bright side of things and strives to do the best she can to make things better.
In addition, Melgar likes to read, travel, hike and enjoy a good comedy.
“I am so excited to be here and look forward to serving the Cottonwood Heights community, learning about everyone and growing together,” she said.