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Gail Chavez retires

Tuesday, June 2, 2015 by Jo Clifton

Gail Chavez, the friendly face at the desk outside the mayor’s office, retired from city service over the weekend, surprising both her boss and most of her friends and acquaintances at City Hall. Chavez was not only the person directing traffic around the City Council offices, she was also the city’s proclamation coordinator. She told the Austin Monitor, “I wrote 2,000 certificates per year and took a great deal of pride in recognizing the best of Austin. I always considered that I was getting paid to do what I had done in my volunteer positions during the 18 years I stayed home raising my kids.” Chavez, 65, worked for the city for nearly 16 years, serving under every mayor from Kirk Watson to Steve Adler. Former Mayor Lee Leffingwell said, “Gail was a longtime city of Austin employee who represented the city well. And she had a particular talent for writing proclamations. I don’t know who’s going to replace her, but it’s going to be very difficult. She was a personal friend to me and a big help in running that front desk.” Her job grew significantly with the advent of the 10–1 Council in January. Her boss, City Clerk Jannette Goodall, said she was surprised by Chavez’s sudden departure. “I didn’t know about it until this morning,” Goodall said Monday, adding that Chavez had submitted her letter indicating that she wanted to retire to the Human Resources Department over the weekend. Goodall said, “We will miss her and we wish her the best.” Chavez is the mother of Gina Chavez, who was named Austin Musician of the Year in March. The staff of the Monitor will miss her greatly. Chavez said that she intends to take a vacation and play with her grandchildren.

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