Rene LaRoche, Clerk of the Board
May 24, 2021
Please describe your role with your County:
As the Clerk of the Board, I oversee all aspects of the legislative process before and after Board meetings. I view myself as the guardian of the public’s right to be informed about what their government does on their behalf.
I also serve as the Board’s Public Information Officer and maintain their Facebook page, as well as serve as the County’s webmaster. In addition, my office provides executive assistance to all five Board members, so I get to work on a lot of special projects.
What’s your favorite movie of all time?
My hands-down favorite is Robin Hood with Errol Flynn. There’s something about the campy adventure and swashbuckling that really appeals to me. (And, of course, Robin’s mission to save the people from Prince John plays into the public servant part of my persona.)
What’s the most interesting or fulfilling part of your job?
Special projects are the most exciting part of my job. I really enjoy immersing myself in a subject, learning all there is to know about it, and then running with a project. A close second to that is simply reading and understanding the laws. I have been known to spend the weekend going through State codes and following that wherever my interest takes me. I’m sure that would be pretty boring for most people, but I enjoy it.
What are you currently reading?
Since finishing my Master’s degree in December, I’ve toned back the academic reading a little bit. In line with my professional interests, I’m reading Teaming: How Organizations Learn, Innovate, and Compete in the Knowledge Economy by Amy C. Edmondson. I’m also revisiting The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz to help re-center myself after my academic journey.
Who is your hero?
It has to be my father. He went straight from the Navy into CalFire (then CDF), where he worked until he died on the job at 49. He spent entire summers moving from fire to fire to fire, and we would finally get to see him again in the fall. It was not perhaps the ideal from a family point of view, yet I am intensely proud of all that he did and the lives he saved. Thanks, Dad!
Do you have any words of advice for someone interested in becoming a Clerk of the Board?
I think every job in local government has value. We all do what we do for “The People.” Our jobs have their roots in the founding of this country, and it should be everyone’s mission to provide our service – whatever that may be – to the highest standard possible. Whatever you do, do it well – as if it was for your own family because, in many ways, it is. Also, be open to new duties and new opportunities. Don’t be that person that says, “It’s not part of my job description.”