At today's city council meeting, council president Richard Conlin announced some sad news: Theresa Dunbar, the longtime clerk to the city council, died over the weekend after a long battle with cancer. She was 56.

According to her city bio, Dunbar was "well known for her speedy recital of legislative titles [the long official descriptions of council legislation] during council meetings and for being an authority [on] Robert's Rules of Order and the City Council rules." Before coming to work for the council, she worked for the state House of Representatives and liberal Mo Udall's 1976 presidential campaign.

"She defined the role of the council," Conlin said.

In recent years, Dunbar's sight had begun to fail, and she read legislative titles, still at auctioneer speed, from a computer displaying the titles in a giant font size. Still, she was present at the recent dedication of the Theresa Dunbar Conference Room, her former office at the west end of the hallway connecting city council members' offices.

Dunbar, who was the council's longest-serving employee, retired last year after 30 years at the council.