Kelly Atchley moves on | SierraSun.com

Kelly Atchley moves on

Nick Cruit
Sierra Sun

TAHOE CITY” When asked if she had a specific moment that stood out as a favorite, Kelly Atchley said that one of the best things about living in Tahoe City is “being part of a small community where you can effect change.”

Since moving to Tahoe in April of 1982, Atchley has done just that. But on Dec. 18, Atchley will be moving to a 2-acre ranch in Yreka, Cali., leaving in her wake a number of incredible accomplishments and a legacy that will be unmatched for years to come.

She was the first woman ever elected to the Tahoe City Public Utility District, serving nine years in parks and recreation and eight years on the board, two of which she served as board president.

She has been the Executive Director of the Tahoe City Downtown Association from 2006 to present, ushering it through the “toddler stages” after being founded in 2004.

She was an integral part of the building of the Boys and Girls Club of North Lake Tahoe, serving in almost every position on its board for the last 10 years, including president for the last two.

She spent 23 years at the Sheriff’s Office as a 911 dispatcher.

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And during the Washoe Fire, she helped man the dispatch station when no one else was around, doing what ever needed to be done to make sure people were safe.

“It’s bittersweet to move on because of all the people I’m going to miss,” she said.

Despite all of the people and places Atchley loves about Tahoe City, the one thing she will not miss is the snow. Where she is moving, the average annual snowfall is only 20 inches.

In fact, Atchley said she has not been on skis in 35 years.

But while snow may not have been the thing that kept Atchley here, Tahoe was fortunate enough to have her around for 26 years.

She will be missed.

“As our board president she brought a whole different perspective, building teamwork and compromise on the board” said Cindy Gustafson, General Manager of the Tahoe City Public Utility District. “She always made the staff feel comfortable and we could always talk to her as a peer even though she was our boss,” she added.

“She is easily one of the most competent people I’ve met,” said Ed Miller, “She had a real commitment to the community.”

Miller was the first Executive Director of the Tahoe City Downtown Association. He hired Atchley as an assistant until she graduated into his position.

“Personally, I’m going to miss her as a friend,” Miller added. “She is one of the high quality people Tahoe is losing.”

In addition to being able to effect change in our small community, Atchley said she will also miss sunsets at Commons Beach and the beautiful winter skies.

Atchley will be joined by her partner, Susan Erhardt, in Yreka. They have been together for nearly nine years.