Retirement draws near for Y’ville Borough secretary
September 7, 2010
In her 30 years as Youngsville Borough secretary, Peggy Nelson has watched the small town evolve.
As she approaches retirement, which is slated for January, she reflected back on the changes in Youngsville and the one thing that has always remained constant – the small-town pride.
Nelson began her tenure as borough secretary in March 1980. At that time, she said, there were more businesses in Youngsville, including three grocery stores, a jeweler and a dry cleaner.
Just as the town has changed, so did her role in the community.
Three times over the 30 years, Nelson step into the position of interim borough manager as former managers left and new ones were sought.
“It was very stressful,” Nelson admitted. “But I had council behind me.”
In addition to the support of council, Nelson’s experience in the role of interim manager was further eased by the help of the police chief and the borough foreman.
“It was kind of a team effort,” she said.
Nelson said borough council offered her the manager position, but she wasn’t interested.
However, she said, “I’ve probably worn just about every hat here.”
Shortly after she started working as borough secretary, Nelson was sworn in as police matron. She explained that her role was to assist the police with female suspects. But Nelson’s police matron duties were rarely utilized.
Asked if she still serves as police matron, Nelson smiled and said, “Well, I’ve never been unsworn.”
In a day and age when people change careers almost as often as they change shoes, Nelson’s 30-year commitment to Youngsville Borough is an impressive feat. However, she was quick to mention the dedication of foreman Earl Wilcox, who has been with the borough for 33 years, and fleet manager John Armstrong, who also has 30 years under his belt.
“Between the three of us, wow, that’s 93 years of experience,” she said.
Nelson’s transition from the working world to retirement is mirrored by the transition taking place in Youngsville. The new borough building is under construction, a large chain grocer just moved in, Northwest Savings Bank is constructing a new office and a streetscape project is waiting in the wings.
“Corporate American believes in us. That really says something,” she said.
Nelson attributes the renaissance in Youngsville to community pride and the efforts of ROY (the Revitalization of Youngsville group) and the Youngsville Area Business Association (YABA).
“Youngsville is a very independent little town,” she said. “The town has its own water system and the community pulled together to build the (Brokenstraw Valley Swimming) pool.”
Nelson added, “Those groups (ROY and YABA) have worked diligently to keep this town going.”
Because of her position in the community, Nelson has had her own opportunity to have an impact in the community.
“Because I worked here, I was involved in the building of the new library,” she said.
Nelson has many fond memories of her years at the borough, but she does have one regret. “I sorry that I won’t get to really enjoy the new (borough) building,” she said.
Looking to the past and into the future, she said, “It’s been a pleasure to work with this council. The borough council has always been good and fair to its employees.”
She added, “I really hope that Youngsville continues to stick to its core values of faith, family and volunteerism. But I really don’t think that will change.”