Long-time City Clerk and Finance Director Says Goodbye After 24 Years

June 14, 2024

Mary Ann Hess, who served as the city clerk and finance director since February 2000, decided to make a big change for 2024. Hess, who has won many accolades during her time as city clerk and in her work with the International Institute of Municipal Clerks where she currently serves as president, decided to take on the role of city clerk for the City of Brandon. She recently moved to Brandon in order to start this new chapter of her life and career.

During a party given in her honor at City Hall on Friday, May 10, Hess confessed to her long-time coworkers that she was expecting to retire from Laurel and “I always thought this would be a retirement party!” Instead, she said, it was “totally a shock” to receive an offer from the City of Brandon. Hess was offered the position to replace Angela Bean who retired earlier this year.

Looking back on the last two and a half decades with the City Beautiful, Hess stated that she believed her legacy would be getting the city back on track after Hurricane Katrina. She recalled coming into work in the aftermath of the 2005 storm, while she still had a tarp on her own house and worked to fill out paperwork for FEMA.

She thanked Mayor Magee for his continuing support and thanked her co-workers in the city clerk’s department. “You’ve been a joy to work with,” she said. “I wish I could pack you up and move you with me.”

Hess was sworn in as Brandon’s new City Clerk on June 4th.

Meanwhile at Laurel City Hall, Deputy Clerk and City Accountant Kristal Jones will be taking the helm as the City Clerk while Lauren Stewart, formerly the city’s deputy clerk and accounts payable specialist will move into the role vacated by Jones.

For her going away party, on May 10th, Laurel Mayor Johnny Magee presented Hess with a proclamation to honor her years of service.

The City of Laurel, established as a lumber town in 1882, is conveniently situated approximately two hours from larger destination cities such as Jackson, Biloxi, New Orleans, and Mobile. In recent years, the city has become a destination all its own thanks, in part, to its starring role in HGTV’s popular “Hometown” series. As Laurel, and interest in it, continues to grow, we are committed to providing the resources necessary to help all of our residents and businesses reach their full potential.
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