California City Clerk Quits in Epic Email


A California city clerk got fed up with her job and fired off an email blasting all the “NIMBY asshattery,” “tinfoil hat conspiracy” theorists and racists she had to put up with in her position. Boom.

Some people choose to dip out of their old jobs quietly, without a lot of fanfare. Others like to draw it out with lots of fawning goodbyes and ice cream cake parties (“Oh my gawwwwd. I’m going to miss you so much; let’s have lunch next week!”). Not Kim Lehmkuhl. When she quit her position as city clerk with Pleasant Hill, she told Mayor Tim Flaherty exactly how she felt about the job and the people she worked with:

“This has been an atrocious, incredibly depressing and mind-numbingly inane experience I would not wish on anyone. I wish the city the best of luck in finding some schmuck eager to transcribe every last misogynistic joke, self-indulgent anecdote and pathetic pandering attempt by council, and every tinfoil hat conspiracy theory, racist aside, and NIMBY asshattery from the lovely council meeting frequent flyers, without which, surely our democracy could not flourish.”


If you’ve ever worked in or near local city government (I was a city reporter who has wasted eons of her life at long, drawn out council meetings), you know that her assessment is pretty much dead on. I don’t care if you’re in Pleasant Hill, California or Oak Brook, Chicago—that is a 100 percent perfect description of what it’s like.

Lehmkuhl said she was accused of spending too much time Tweeting during City Council meetings. (As a clerk, one of her biggest roles is to keep track of minutes during all meetings.) She insists it was a matter of council members and other employees not understanding Twitter and the ways the public uses it. Via SF Gate:

Lehmkuhl had denied she was slacking off on the job and doing nothing but playing around on Twitter. Her critics simply don’t understand the medium, she said.
Lehmkul had been the subject of a recall effort after city officials said she had failed to provide minutes for up to a year. She later produced minutes for some of those meetings.
She had been known for Tweeting during council meetings, with posts that included personal observations.

Her former co-workers don’t seem to upset about losing her. “I’m paraphrasing our former President Gerald Ford in saying ‘Our long municipal nightmare is now over.’ Our city clerk has resigned,” [Flaherty] said.

Lehmkuhl is now employed with Working America, an affiliate of the AFL-CIO that represents non-union workers, in Washington, D.C.

Image via Shutterstock.

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