Working in small town appeals to new clerk Rippeon assumes variety of duties

February 22, 1996|By Donna R. Engle | Donna R. Engle,SUN STAFF

Union Bridge's new clerk-treasurer steps into a job that has grown from answering the phone and writing out bills by hand in a converted living room to computerized recordkeeping in a new town hall.

Debra Rippeon, who started work Monday, won't be collecting money from the town parking meters, one of the tasks handled by former Town Clerk Kathleen D. Kreimer. The council has assigned parking meter collections to Council President Bret Grossnickle, but the clerk-treasurer in the town of 932 residents still has duties more varied than similar positions in larger communities with more municipal employees.

Union Bridge's size is one feature that attracted Ms. Rippeon. "There's something to be said about small towns. There's a comfort level," she said.

Mrs. Kreimer resigned three months ago after the council learned that she had been sending estimated bills to water customers whose meters were stuck, in some cases for years.

She also read meters for her husband's company, Kreimer Construction Co., which had a contract to maintain the town's water system.

Mrs. Kreimer had been a town employee for 21 years, 17 as clerk-treasurer.

When she began work, the town hall was in the first floor of a rowhouse on Broadway without private offices and with handwritten ledgers. The new town hall opened in 1993.

Ms. Rippeon, 42, lives near Libertytown, about two miles from the Carroll County line. Her previous job was administrative assistant to a government contractor.

She said she found the Union Bridge job appealing because of the chance for community involvement and a shorter commute.

The job pays $9 an hour for a 40-hour workweek.

She described herself as "a permanent resident of the area. We go back about five generations."

A 1972 graduate of Linganore High School, Ms. Rippeon plans to complete an associate degree in business administration at Frederick Community College this semester.

Ms. Rippeon has a son who is a landscaper. In her spare time, she enjoys working in her rose garden, landscaping her property, visiting shut-ins and performing other community work.

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