Truth be told, Christine Yancey did not think she would be packing up and moving to Riverside.
She was outside gardening when the phone rang inside the house.
She remembers thinking, “At least I didn’t have to hear the bad news.”
A second call came a few moments later. This time she picked up.
Yancey had become the city of Riverside’s newest employee and city administrator.
“I think they were taken aback by my reaction,” she said.
Born and raised in Mount Vernon, she is no stranger to small town living.
Yancey said that Riverside reminds her of her hometown while growing up.
She was chosen from a pool of 30 candidates. She began work as Riverside’s city manager on July 1.
“[Her] experience was definitely a factor,” Mayor Allen Schneider said.
With more than 17 years of experience under her belt, this isn’t her first time working as a city administrator.
She worked as the city administrator for the city of Lisbon for six years. Before that, she worked as an administrative assistant for the city of Mount Vernon for 11 years.
In this time, Yancey’s passion for working with people and communities has grown.
Economic development and marketing of small towns have always been an area of passion and focus for Yancey.
“I like seeing new things coming in and then watching them grow,” she said.
Before she began her lengthy career in city government, Yancey spent the first 18 years of her life in Mount Vernon, where she rode horses.
She graduated from Mount Vernon Community High School. Although she has no formal degree, she has taken courses through Kirkwood Community College and Iowa State University.
Staying true to her roots, Yancey is now packing up and moving from one small town to another.
She is commuting to work from her home in Mechanicsville while she continues her search for a place to live in Riverside. She lives with her husband, Larry, and their two cats.
The pair has five children, all of whom have moved out of state, leaving the neighborhood children to fill that gap for the couple.
Yancey is excited to see what Riverside has in store for them.
Upon receiving the news of her new position, she had some items on her agenda. Among these were joining the Riverside Area Community Club and attending her very first Trekfest — the latter of which she can now check off the list.
When she is not busy running cities, Yancey enjoys gardening, cooking and canoeing. Blueberry scones are one of her favorite treats from Madeline’s Coffee House, just down the street from City Hall.
“I’m just a small town girl,” she said. “I feel like I fit right in.”