Fifty years at one place is not so usual anymore, but for Val Maene, leaving her job at Glen Rock borough hall was never much of a thought.
On May 10, the Borough Council honored her years of service, recognizing her "kindness," and "dependability."
"There are many people behind the scenes, and in Glen Rock, I noticed many people stay," said Mayor Bruce Packer. "That says a lot about this place."
"You don't really meet a lot of people like that," said Borough Administrator Lenora Benjamin. "Most people move around, trying to make a lot of money. It's kind of a remarkable thing when someone stays this long.
"This is a special tribute," Benjamin said. "Val has been a pleasure to know and work with, and an inspiration."
Maene started her career with the borough in 1967 as secretary in the clerk's office.
"I worked with a wonderful woman named Mary Locke who was the bookkeeper and a year later was made borough clerk," Maene said on May 11 in an email. "Mary became a second mother to me. She retired in 1991 after 25 years service and sadly died in 2011."
"Somewhere along the line, I became assistant clerk," she said.
Maene was not eligible to be deputy clerk because, at the time, the clerk had to be a resident of the town by state law.
"In the beginning, the clerk’s office issued hunting and fishing licenses, registered voters, sold pool badges and dog licenses," she said. "We were also the Finance Department, doing payroll. [We did] employee benefits and paying the bills and all the budget work. I was also deputy registrar – issuing marriage licenses, death certificates, etc. For a few years I was secretary to the Board of Health. "
In 1982 the tax collector retired and Maene moved into that office just as the borough converted from a bookkeeping machine to a computer. She took the payroll and benefits duties with her. Due to state law changes, she was the first tax collector who wasn’t elected to office. Prior collectors had to be residents and be elected. The state changed the law so tax collectors had to take classes and pass an exam to be certified with no residency requirement.
In 2004, she retired as tax collector, and currently works two days a week in payroll and as benefits coordinator.
"I am very grateful for my 50 years and all the friends I have made," she said.