The Van Wert County Courthouse

Monday, May. 25, 2020

Convoy clerk Vicki Saylor retires Friday

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

It was the summer of 1990 and Vicki Saylor had recently lost her clerk’s job at a local grocery when the owners decided to close the business.

Retiring Convoy Village Clerk-Treasurer Vicky Saylor chats with local attorney Dillon Staas during a reception held Friday in the village offices. Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent

That’s when then-Convoy mayor Tom Nelson approached her about a new job.

“I was sitting on my porch one day and the mayor at that time, Tom Nelson, came to my house and asked me if I was interested in becoming the clerk for the village,” Saylor said, adding she was a bit leery at the time, since she had always worked in retail.

Sensing that she was less than enthused about the job, Nelson asked her to contact a former clerk, Cathy Drake, who could give her more information about the job.

After hearing about the duties from Drake, Saylor decided it was something she was interested in doing after all.

Six mayors and 28 years later, Saylor is retiring from the job she has grown to enjoy, and even love.

She said the job itself has changed a lot since she first began on August 1, 1990, noting that everything was done on paper in those days.

“The only thing that was on the computer was the water bills,” Saylor said, noting that she had to keep four major ledgers for the village in which she posted payments or receipts. She was also the steward for all the deposits for the village, and did the village payroll.

“Lots of room for error, when you’re transferring a number four times,” she said of the four-ledger system, noting she also took income tax payments as well. “It was enough to keep me busy; when I look back, I think ‘how did I do that all on paper?’”

While today’s village office is totally computerized, Saylor said it’s also much more complex than it was 28 years ago, with the clerk’s office also having to administer street projects and many other village financial activities, including a much more complex payroll system than the one she started with more than a quarter century ago.

Armed with just a high school diploma and no special training, Saylor said that, while she participated in one training session in Columbus after becoming clerk, she has learned far more from talking to other village clerks in the county over the years.

“You become really good friends because the things you’re communicating are the things you’re doing every day,” Saylor said of her conversations with other local village clerks.

She added that a state requirement to complete eight hours of continuing education each year has also helped her keep current on state requirements and changes.

The thing Saylor said she’ll miss the most are the people who come in to pay their utility payments — and also to visit a bit.

Retiring Convoy village clerk Vicky Saylor with her husband, Mike. Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent

“That’s what I’ll miss the most is the people coming in, and everybody always had stories to tell — great conversations,” Saylor said. “These people who come into this office to pay their water bills are my friends; I see them every month.”

A number of those friends came by on Friday to say good-bye and reminisce about the past 28 years.

With Saylor leaving Friday, her replacement as clerk, Bobbie Jo Yocum, has been working hard since mid-March to learn the myriad duties of the job and provide a smooth transition for village residents.

Yocum, who said learning a new job can be overwhelming at first, added that she was impressed with the job Saylor did, adding that her predecessor did a lot more than most people realize.

“I’ve got big shoes to fill,” she said, but noted that Saylor has been generous with her time to help Yocum learn her new position.

“I’ve been trying to get with her every minute that I can, because I need it,” Yocum added, noting that Saylor has been great to work with, and just a phone call away, at least for a while, if she has questions.

Saylor noted that, while she thoroughly enjoyed her village clerk’s job, it was time to retire — especially since she and her husband, Mike, have had some health issues the past few years.

Now she and her husband, who also retired 18 months ago, plan to enjoy life a bit, do a little traveling, and spend more time with their grandchildren.

To most village residents, Saylor’s retirement is likely a well-earned rest.

POSTED: 06/30/18 at 8:08 am. FILED UNDER: News