Anne Koliha is familiar with local government and has great affection for small towns. As the new city clerk in Canton, she feels her abilities, knowledge and experiences will help the community move forward to achieve current goals as well as prepare her to work with the council to set new priorities for the years to come.
Joining the Canton team on November 30, Koliha said she is still very much in the discovery phase of her job. Becoming the city clerk at the end of the year means helping finalize budgets, preparing for audits and assembling information for an upcoming council meeting.
“It has been a baptism by fire,” she laughed, but also acknowledged that going through these financial reports has been a good way to learn more about the operations for the city of Canton.
“I’m still figuring out who does what and what needs to be done when,” Koliha said. “But, I’m happy to join the team.”
Even though Koliha’s time with Canton is still in its early days, she said she has enjoyed getting to know her co-workers Barb Kerns, Jon Nordsving and Jim Davis. She also enjoys finding her way around and learning new things about Canton.
As early as when she interviewed for the position with the mayor and council members, Koliha said she was impressed by the knowledge and vision shared with her during that process.
Now in the position, she continues to learn more about current and past practices, priorities and goals.
Koliha said she plans to resume and assist with projects and plans the city has established. She also hopes to continue social media posts and newsletters to inform and educate the community on what is happening in local government.
Koliha lives near Harmony with her husband Brandon, on the family farm. They are the fourth generation to farm the land, which has been in the Hilke and Koliha family for well over 100 years, earning designation of a Century Farm in 2016.
As someone who loves to be outside, Koliha says she enjoys helping out on the farm and likes to garden and tend to flowers in her spare time.
She is also an active volunteer in the Harmony community, serving on the Harmony Area Community Foundation, working with her church, Harmony United Methodist, and being a member of the Harmony Conservation Club. Koliha also recently assumed the role of Harmony Township clerk.
Koliha was employed by the Fillmore County Soil and Water Conservation District where she acquired many of her administrative knowledge and experience. She was hired as an engineering tech, but over her 20 years with the district, more recently had moved into the district manager role.
She graduated from the University of Wisconsin – River Falls and moved to the area for her position with the SWCD. She is originally from Oshkosh, Wis.
Working in Canton, Koliha wants to help the council with efforts to revitalize and promote what this small community has to offer.
“I have a love of rural small towns,” she shared. “I want to see them survive, but also thrive.”