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TEMPERANCE — A familiar face is leaving Bedford Township government this month.
Treasurer Sherri Meyer is to end her 30-year career at noon on Nov. 20, when her term expires and she officially retires. She was first elected to her post on the township board in 1984, and spent two years before that as deputy treasurer.
“It’s been a long time, but I’m ready to go,” she said. “A lot has changed. When I started there were no computers. We did everything by hand. Now everything is computerized.”
Bedford has changed a lot too, she noted. When she started, the treasurer’s office sent about 8,200 tax bills. Today, "we have about 14,500, approximately, so there’s been a lot of growth,” she said.
Ms. Meyer, 68, never expected to hold elective office. She was a divorced mother of two sons when she became deputy treasurer under Jo Carolyn Track in 1982.
Ms. Track did not run for re-election two years later because she was leaving the township, and so Ms. Meyer entered the race as a Republican and won. This was the only time she ran against an opponent.
“I think maybe nobody wanted my job,” she said, laughing. “But it might be because people thought I did a good job.”
Her successor is almost certain to be Paul Francis, a township trustee who narrowly won the Aug. 7 Republican primary. No Democrat entered the race. Mr. Francis is a certified public accountant with more than 40 years of auditing and financial experience.
The treasurer’s office prints out and sends the tax and sewer bills and collects payments for them and residents’ water charges. The job is a lot more complex than it may sound. There are myriad taxing jurisdictions, such as the Bedford Public Schools, the Monroe County Library Association, Monroe County Community College, and the Monroe County Intermediate School District, that are owed money, along with lighting districts established in each of the township’s many subdivisions. The treasurer’s office, with its four full-time employees (including Ms. Meyer) and one part-timer, does it all.
Township Supervisor Walt Wilburn said this is possible because Ms. Meyer has put together a solid staff. “Having good people in your office doesn’t just happen. You make that happen,” he said.
Being well organized and numerically competent isn’t enough for a good treasurer’s office, he said. The staffers must have good interpersonal skills because they deal so much with the public. The office even has a drive-through window.
“She has good rapport with the people under her, and the citizens love her,” Mr. Wilburn said. “She's the most fantastic person I've ever had a chance to know and work with."
Sandy Renius, Ms. Meyer’s deputy since 1996, offered similar praise: “Sherry is awesome. I can't even talk about [her retirement] because I'm going to cry.” Ms. Renius plans to retire in May.
Ms. Meyer said she plans to remain a Temperance resident after she retires. She plans to travel and relax. Not having to attend the township board meetings on the first and third Tuesday nights of the month will be a change, she said, adding that she would miss dealing with the public.