Grace Bowser retiring as Mayetta's city clerk
Longtime Mayetta City Clerk Grace Bowser is retiring this month after 28 years of service to the city.
A retirement celebration was held for Bowser last Wednesday prior to the start of the city council’s regular monthly meeting.
After seeing an ad in The Holton Recorder, Bowser applied for the clerk’s position and was appointed May 1, 1995.
“I was running a daycare at that time,” Bowser said. “I had a sister who was a city clerk and a brother who worked for a couple of cities as a maintenance man. I thought I might as well join the ranks.”
Bowser said that, after she was appointed, she only received a week’s worth of training from the previous clerk.
“I was hired in May, and by July I had to know how to put together a budget for the city,” Bowser said. “At the time, Mary Lundin was the mayor, and she was very good at helping me. She understood the city business and what needed to be done. She would stop in once a week, and we’d go over what had happened that week and what needed to be done. It made it much easier to have an active mayor at that time.”
When Bowser was hired, all the billing was completed by hand without a computer.
“We were doing everything using big ledgers. That was a big challenge. Sending out bills was a nightmare. You’d get the water meter readings back and you had to hand figure everybody’s bill,” she said. “Very few people paid the exact amount on the bill. I had a card file with everyone’s account because some people would round up their bill to an even number or accidentally pay the late fee the previous month. I had to track everything and calculate that in each month. It was very time consuming.”
She later approached the council about purchasing a computer and a billing program to assist her.
“I set up all kinds of spreadsheets to do payroll. At that time, when you ordered Office and Excel, it came with a book. I sat and read that book from cover to cover,” she said. “You couldn’t go to Google at that time to learn how to enter a billing formula.”
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