After 22 years as the City of Clarkson’s Clerk/Treasurer, Alicia Hayes will be stepping down at the end of this year.
Hayes made the announcement at last Monday’s meeting of the Clarkson Commission when Clarkson Mayor Bonnie Henderson read Hayes’ retirement letter to the commissioners.
Hayes took the position in September of 1994, when she said she was the city’s youngest employee.
“Now, I’m the oldest,” she quipped.
At that time, Hayes was working toward her teaching credential at Elizabethtown Community College, but after actually getting into the classroom at the Grayson County Middle School, she discovered that teaching would not be what she would continue to pursue.
About that time, she received a phone call from a Clarkson Commissioner, Ernest Bradley, who told her about the opening with the city.
“I put in an application, was interviewed and got the job.”
Ironically, some time after landing the position, the late Arville Dunne, who was the mayor of Clarkson for 26 years, confided to Hayes that she had not been his choice for the position.
“But he then told me he was glad they had hired me,” Hayes said.
Back in Sept. of 2010, Hayes and her husband, Garry, opened their own business, the My Neighbor Gift Shop, in downtown Clarkson. Following her retirement, Hayes plans to devote all of her time to the shop.
“We purchase some items in the store, but we also make many of them,” she said.
Among the items they make themselves are hand-painted pictures and signs, and memorial saddles, floral creations that fit over family tombstones.
The store is filled to the brim with lanterns, stone landscape markers, a full line of Jim Beam candles, and many music boxes, which she said have become popular items.
Hayes will be staying in the position until Dec. 31 of this year. Some time before that, the commission will hire her replacement and Hayes will then train him or her to take over her duties.
“We will be sorry to see her leave, but we understand,” Henderson told the commissioners after they voted to accept her retirement.
Reach Don Brown at 259-9622, ext. 2016.