Retiring Carlton town clerk enjoyed working with residents

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 23 December 2015 at 12:00 am

Photo by Tom Rivers – Pam Rush is retiring on Dec. 31 after 31 years as Carlton town clerk. There will be a retirement party at the Town Hall on Tuesday from 5 to 7 p.m. The public is welcome to attend.

CARLTON – When Pam Rush started as Carlton town clerk 31 years ago, there weren’t any computers in the Town Hall. She entered records by hand.

The job was a lot simpler. She collected taxes, and gave dog, hunting and marriage licenses.

The job became more complex, mainly as the state imposed different systems for keeping track of licenses.

The town services would grow, with the town-wide water district increasing from 300 customers three decades ago to 1,500 now. Carlton would add a town park behind the Firemen’s Recreation Hall on Route 98.

The Town Hall was expanded in 1987, and last year it was remodeled.

“It’s not the kind of job where you just walk in off the street,” Rush said. “It’s a million-dollar business we run here.”

Rush will retire Dec. 31. She has agreed to stay on as a part-time deputy clerk to help with the transition to a new clerk. Karen Narburgh is the current deputy and is expected to be appointed as town clerk by the Town Board.

Rush said she will stay on for a few months in a part-time role, especially during the busy tax season, to assist the new town clerk.

That is another example of Rush’s dedication to the town, said Gayle Ashbery, the town supervisor the past 10 years.

“I could not have been town supervisor without her,” Ashbery said about Rush. “Not only has she been a good friend, but she is a rock. First and foremost, she’s always had the taxpayers and the town in her best interest.”

Rush grew up in Batavia and married Brian Rush of Carlton. She was working as a bank teller at the former Albion Federal Savings & Loan when she was encouraged to pursue the job as town clerk.

“I have enjoyed all of it,” Rush said about the position. “I’ve loved dealing with the people.”

She and her husband have three grown children and grandchildren. Mr. Rush retired last year after a career working in the Village of Albion’s water treatment plant. The couple wants more time to travel to see their family.

“Life is too short not to,” she said.