Shenandoah County sees more retirements

Linda Cave and Sharon Kibler sit at their desks in the Shenandoah County Treasurer's Office on Monday. Cave and Kibler plan to retire in July. Alex Bridges/Daily

WOODSTOCK — Sharon Kibler and Linda Cave will take 47 years of experience with them when they leave the Shenandoah County Treasurer’s Office this summer.

The longtime friends said Monday that they’re ready for retirement July 5. Cave and Kibler turn 65 in July. Kibler has worked in the treasurer’s office for 27 years and Cave for 20 years.

Cave and Kibler said they’ve enjoyed working in the treasurer’s office and witnessed quite a few improvements over the years. More importantly, Cave and Kibler said they’ve stayed because they like working with people.

“I figure 50 years in the work place is a long time,” Kibler said. “I enjoy what I do. I love the people that I meet.”

“I’ve made a lot of good friends with people,” Kibler added. “You become close to those people. I’m going to miss a lot of those people that I always came in contact with and we’ve been more like family because we’re together so much. We’ve been with each other more than we’ve been with our own families at times.”

Treasurer Cindy George has worked in the treasurer’s office for 34 years, with 23 years as the elected treasurer. George said her office doesn’t see much turnover and now she’s worried about losing Cave and Kibler and having to find and train their replacements.

“It’s gonna be different,” George said. “You don’t find the dedicated employees like you used to.”

Retirements picked up in Shenandoah County recently. From Jan. 1, 2012, to Nov. 1, 2014, 17 employees have retired from Shenandoah County government, according to information from Assistant County Administrator Evan Vass. The landfill and the Sheriff’s Office each saw four people retire in that time. The Office of Community Development — building inspections in particular — had three retirements. Retirees in that time period averaged 22.5 years for the county.

The treasurer’s office recently had one worker retire and an employee left after nine years unexpectedly, George said. She has since hired their replacements and, along with Cave and Kibler, is training the new employees.

“There’s only three of us here that have that long-term knowledge,” George said. “It’s gonna be tough.”

As George explained, Cave and Kibler will need to train the new employees in their respective areas of expertise.

“It’s more behind the scenes than what people think because we just sit up front,” Kibler said.

“People think a lot of times that we just collect taxes and we’re done,” Cave said.

George said she hopes to hire their replacements on July 1 so they can shadow Cave and Kibler at least for a short time.

“But there’s no shadowing in a week or two weeks or a month for this job,” George said. “It takes years.”

“If we have a question we still ask each other,” Cave said.

Customers might also need to adjust to new faces when Cave and Kibler leave. Some customers ask specifically to see either of the two employees because they’re familiar with them, George said. Kibler said she will miss some of her regular customers and others not so much.

“When we first started, somebody would fuss at you and you’d take it personally,” Cave said. “Oh, it would really upset you. But then you get used to it.”

“You can’t be thin-skinned,” Kibler said.

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or abridges@nvdaily.com