Employee Spotlight: Meet our customer service team.
The City of Hood River provides a myriad of community services including public safety, public works, utilities, community development and public parking. Seven key staff members serve the City with frontline service, directly interacting with city residents, business members, other agencies, or visitors. If you haven’t met them yet, we’d like to introduce them.
Machel Jubitz, Accounting Tech
Machel has been a part of the City of Hood River’s Utilities Accounting team for the past nine years. Her main responsibilities include managing billing for all utilities and other accounts receivable, plus she serves as back-up for municipal court and parking department support. Machel learned the importance of customer service and customer interactions when working previously in accounting at Franz Hardware, her father’s business. “I’m a people person and love getting to know and conversing with customers,” says Machel. She says the most gratifying part of her job is the friendships she’s formed with customers, and feeling like she can make a small difference in their lives.
Laura Garcia-Rangel, Customer Service/Parking
Since 2012, Laura has worked for the City of Hood River’s customer service team in the parking department. Primarily, she collects payments for parking fines, transient room taxes (TRTs), and provides support to municipal court and utility customers. With eight years working experience at a local phone company, Laura was accustomed to working with a variety of customers. “Sometimes it’s helpful to simply listen and let customers air their concerns,” Laura says. Although parking ticket recipients aren’t always the happiest, Laura tries her best to help graciously and finds most of them understanding. “I also appreciate having caring co-workers,” she adds.
Marlo Messmer, Public Works/Engineering Office Manager
Marlo has been in the position of Public Works and Engineering office manager for the last eight years, with many prior years’ experience helping the public in a variety of office roles. Her assortment of daily tasks includes working with contractors, builders, home owners and the general public. She’s knowledgeable and ready to help answer questions about permitting or relevant questions that come her way. “I like working in this fast-paced environment with the great group of guys in Public Works” she says. “I enjoy helping others in a timely fashion.” You may also see Marlo at the front desk of the Best Western Plus Hood River Inn, where she works part-time.
Nikki Gross, Building/Permit Technician
Nikki is the Building department’s Permit Technician, a position she’s held for the past four years, including as previous employee of the Clair Company. She works with and helps developers, contractors and homeowners navigate the permitting process. Nikki says keeping up with a City’s busy permitting workload is gratifying. Nikki also brings 13 years of former customer service experience with a local phone company to her position. “One of the things I like best about my job is working with a great group of people,” Nikki relays. Her desk moved to the City Hall lobby with the Building dept. relocation.
Gabriela Bustos, Municipal Court Administrator
For the past year-and-a-half, Gabriela has served as the City’s Municipal Court Administrator, with primary responsibilities covering the entry of traffic citations and operations of Municipal Court. She most enjoys helping defendants to navigate through the court and its processes. She takes pride in helping people who have lost driving privileges through the multiple steps for regaining them. “It can be challenging to keep up with state and federal changes in court processes, but that is also an interesting part of the job,” Gabriela says. She had eight years’ experience in community and social services organization prior to taking her position at Municipal Court.
Annika Cardwell, Planning Assistant
Annika became the City’s Planning Assistant in August 2018. As the front line of the Planning department with experience as a building designer, Annika hopes to answer questions quickly to help community members understand what’s feasible on their property. “It’s fun to help a person understand how to make their dream come to fruition, and when their hopes are not possible, to point them in a different direction that satisfies a similar need,” she says. Annika also assists with general customer service in the City Hall lobby. “My co-workers at City Hall make it a fun place to work, and hopefully that shows in our customer service,” Annika says.
Angela Frazer, Administrative Assistant, Police Department
Angela joined the Police department in January. She came with extensive experience providing skilled administrative support in a fast-paced, demanding, highly confidential environment. Her typical day involves responding to records requests, fingerprinting, tracking/reconciling department expenses, forwarding police reports to community partners, data entry of citations, answering phones, and compiling department statistics. Building positive working relationships and connecting people with information or resources they seek are the most gratifying aspects of her job. “My coworkers are full of personality and have a strong sense of community. They excel in what they do and I’m grateful to work alongside them,” Angela shares.
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