Serving you: Williamstown’s assistant clerk

For more than a decade Paula Rankin has served the Williamstown community as assistant city clerk, and likes the job so much she plans to stay with the city until she retires.

Rankin, 43, currently makes her home in Reno with husband Charles and three children.

Question: How long have you worked for the city?

Answer: I was looking for a clerical or secretarial job in 1998 when I discovered there was an opening here in Williamstown. So this is my 15th year.

Q: How many people work in the city building?

A: There are four of us-two assistant clerks, the city clerk and police chief, in addition to Mayor Jean Ford.

Q: What are your duties as assistant clerk?

A: There’s really no regular job description. We do a little bit of everything-utility billing, logging in new service orders, taking phone calls and any complaints, providing information and assisting the mayor and other staff with whatever they may need.

Q: It must get busy with just four people in the office.

A: Our busiest time is usually mid-month when the water bills have to be done. But in the spring our phones start ringing a lot as people start making reservations for the picnic shelters in Tomlinson Park. They’re reserved every weekend from May through September.

The shelters are popular for family picnics and birthday parties, but the most reservations are for family reunions. People like the park because it has a nice playground for children, and there are restrooms accessible for older folks and people with disabilities.

The park is also where our annual volunteer firemen’s ice cream socials and Relay for Life events are held.

Q: How do you spend your time away from the office?

A: I’m into quilting and gardening-both flower and vegetable gardening. There’s nothing better than feeling freshly-turned garden soil under your bare feet on a sunny day.

I like hand-quilting, too. I find it very relaxing, especially in the evenings when I don’t have a good book to read or there’s nothing interesting on TV.

I learned how to quilt from a former co-worker, but gave it up for several years. Recently my aunt became interested in quilting, so I’ve picked it back up again.

Sam Shawver conducted this interview.