Anita Jebbett of Homer retired from her position as town clerk on Tuesday after serving Homer for 40 years, 34 in the town clerk’s office.
In June of 1987, Jebbett was hired as the deputy town clerk and was appointed town clerk in the fall of 1989.
“I’ve been working in the building for 40 years and I worked for the village of Homer for six years,” Jebbett said. “I wanted to do other things, I’ve been here long enough — I want to be able to enjoy my retirement.”
There are many things she has loved about the position, from the interaction with residents to making sure the people are happy.
“I’ve just loved the interaction with the town residents and being able to make sure that local government works for people,” Jebbett said. “I’ve enjoyed working with the people here in the town hall.”
Jebbett’s grandfather and great-grandfather were Homer town clerks, a legacy that will be broken with her retirement, said Homer Supervisor Fred Forbes.
To start her state retirement, Jebbett had to resign for at least one day, Forbes said. She was re-appointed as town clerk on Thursday.
“She could serve until Dec. 31 if she wanted to, but the agreement was that she would stay and train the new person once we get one chosen,” Forbes said. “I’ve worked with her for 17 years and three months and she is the gold standard, she is the face of the town, that’s who everybody meets when they go in.”
The town board has several candidates it is considering, but has not yet made a decision. Jebbett expects one soon and wants to leave the position by the end of May.
The town of Homer is one of few towns in New York state to have an appointed town clerk, Forbes said.
Jebbett’s grandfather asked the town board to put an appointed position on the ballot during his term as he was sick of running for office. He was in office when he died in 1965.
“I am not going to be able to replace all of her history and all of her years,” Forbes said. “Like any other position, a town or a business moves forward and you really can’t expect whoever takes her place to be Anita, they have to be themselves.”
To serve as the town’s clerk, an individual must be a resident of Homer, Jebbett said.
But once appointed, the clerk is typically locked in until the end of the year.
“I would like someone who had a feeling of commitment to the position,” Jebbett said. “It’s nice to have somebody that would feel like I did — trying to do the best job possible.”