The City of Edina said goodbye to two longtime public safety staffers in the second quarter of 2019. Fire Prevention Administrative Assistant Karen Bretson and Police Department Administrative Assistant Nancy Karkhoff each retired at the end of May.
“Nancy was an incredible asset to the Police Department throughout her career. She is missed every day. Not only does she have an incredible work ethic, but she also has such great spirit and energy that was a joy to have around the office,” said Police Chief David Nelson. “I wish her well in retirement.”
Karkhoff retired after working 40 years for the City of Edina. Bretson worked at the City for 20 years. Both women were female leaders in departments that are traditionally staffed by men.
“The fire inspectors were pretty dependent on Karen. She was ready to roll up her sleeves from the first day she started and she’s not afraid of hard work,” said Administrative Assistant Ruth Schmoll, who was the only other woman in the Fire offices. “We’ve always said it takes a couple of women to keep this place running well.”
Karkhoff was the first woman to get pregnant who worked for the Police Department during a time when they didn’t have a formal maternity leave.
“There were no women police officers, it was all men. The records staff was women, but the bosses were men. It was way different. And there were three of us women in records,” she said. “I went to Craig Swanson who was Police Chief at the time, and I had a little letter written up and said I was requesting a short-term leave of absence. He was very lenient and approved it, as did the City Manager at the time, Ken Rosland.”
“I loved the variety. I loved working with the guys and Ruth. Everybody has been wonderful,” said Bretson.
Julie Norgren succeeds Karkhoff in her position. Marie Segar replaced Bretson. For more information about City staffing, contact the Human Resources Department at 952-826-0364.