Chester Town Supervisor Robert Valentine said the town would have to install a red phone at Sharon Conklin’s house to reach her for directions because she knows where everything is.
Chester Town Clerk Linda Zappala said Conklin’s retirement would be a tremendous loss to the town and the community, but she knew Conklin was ready to enter the next phase of her life.
“As friends and neighbors over 20 years and colleagues nearly 15, I can truly say Sharon Conklin is a special person,” Zappala wrote in an email exchange with The Chronicle. “Her love of her job and one-of-a-kind gentle manner and warm personality draws people in. Maybe that is how she won her then co-worker’s heart and ultimately chose to celebrate her wedding day with Bob at Town Hall over 25 years ago.
“I am personally indebted for her recommendation, providing me the opportunity to be hired and the enjoyment of working with her since,” the town clerk added. “Sharon’s professional integrity and dedication for over 33 years has made her a true asset to the Town of Chester and one that will be dearly missed.”
Thirty-three years have passed since Sharon Conklin joined the town as payroll clerk in 1988. In 1992 she was promoted to bookkeeper and benefits administrator. She served eight administrations: Clark J. Holbert, Harry “Tim” Diltz, Margaret Grumbach, E. Stephen Shortess, William J. Tully, Stefan M. Neuhaus, Alexander Jamieson and Robert Valentine.
Over the years, Conklin has also worked side by side with three town clerks Barbara Spina, Elizabeth A. Reilly and Linda A. Zappala.
Conklin said she’d spent half of her life working for the town.
“I love my job,” she said. “There was never a day that I didn’t want to come to work. It has been a rewarding experience. I will be enjoying my grandchildren here in New York and in Colorado and will be enjoying the Adirondacks with my best friend, who happens to be my husband Bob. I can truly say that I have been blessed to have had a job that I enjoyed every day. I never once regretted having to come to work. Through the years, I have worked with many people and have made lasting friendships that I cherish.”