Barb Frank looks back on career as county clerk

By Steve Sharp:

Sharp Photo

JEFFERSON — In typical light-hearted style, Barb Frank gave her final statement to the Daily Times as Jefferson County clerk quoting a saying from Charlie Brown.

“It’s the friends you meet on your path that make the journey worthwhile,” she said.

Frank’s last day with the county will be April 2, when she caps off a career dating to 1982, and she took time this week to talk with the Daily Times about her many years working in the county clerk’s office. Her first years were spent under the legendary Barb Geyer.

Frank began work with the county after graduation from Jefferson High School in 1976 and her subsequent earning of a bachelor of science degree in business administration.

“After graduating college, I realized I needed to get a job,” Frank said. “I was engaged to my husband, Ken, and we both wanted to stay in the area, so I accepted a position as protective payee at the Jefferson County Human Services Department with the intent of getting some work experience.”

Frank began her progression upward through the county ranks right away, in 1982.

“In ’82, the county clerk had a position available for accounts payable, which I transferred into,” she said. “I also worked as the accounting manager before being appointed as county clerk by the county board in February of 1997.”

Frank called her mentor Geyer “a great friend.”

“She cared so much about each of her employees and her role as county clerk,” Frank said. “Barb was very straightforward and super honest. I think being straightforward is what I learned from Barb. If you have an issue or concern, talk to that person directly.”

Frank said she has enjoyed the variety of work offered by the county clerk’s position and has loved working with people.

“The stress of elections was probably the thing I did not like,” she said. “Elections have so many things that can happen which are out of our control, such as equipment issues. But I did learn to problem solve.”

When asked about her greatest accomplishments in office Frank said these would be organization and purging of records.

“I have also been able to provide the citizens with updated voting equipment and software, including the new Express Votes. This is totally due to the fiscal support by the county board and cooperation of all the municipal clerks.”

Frank has worked a total of 292 county board meetings, 61 elections, recalls and many recounts.

Frank said she leaves little “undone” as she makes her exit into retirement.

“I leave just some more electronic/scanning, organization of contracts and some other things. These will get done by the next person,” she said.

Frank said she will very much miss the people with whom she works.

“I have so many friends and so many memories,” she said, adding in retirement she will simply “do whatever I want, whenever I want.”