CARNDUFF - In 1992, Annette Bayliss began working for Carnduff as an assistant administrator.
Little did she know that 30 years later she’d still be working for the town. She is now Annette Brown and works as the town’s administrator.
She had been working for the local newspaper, the Gazette-Post, and was going to school for computer accounting when the assistant administrator position was available. Though her qualifications fell short of the requirements, she successfully applied. The town held the job while she finished her final month of schooling.
That schooling stretch was a tough nine months for Brown. A single mom with two children, she attended classes in Saskatoon. The kids’ grandmother looked after the children while she studied.
Brown came home on weekends and the kids were brought up to Saskatoon for the summer months. The rest of the time, she cried herself to sleep due to missing her children so much.
However, the sacrifice paid off. For 10 years, she worked as Kevin Stephenson’s assistant and when he left, she was encouraged to apply for his position as administrator. She didn’t, as she felt that she was not yet ready.
For another eight years, she continued on in her role, working with Rodney Audette. When he stepped down, she was urged to apply by many people, including the mayor and council and perhaps most important of all, her husband Sherman.
This time, she went for it, as she felt more prepared. Her only hesitation was that the new position meant that she would be spending less time with people and more time with a computer.
She took a few courses to meet the job requirements and in 2010 she became Carnduff’s administrator.
Her 30 years of working for the town were recognized on Aug. 2 in council chambers. Town residents came and went for a couple of hours, passing on their congratulations and enjoying cake, cupcakes, coffee and iced tea.
What does a town administrator do? Brown makes sure that all the policies and bylaws are kept updated, ensures that taxation and assessments are correct, draws up a rough draft for the yearly budget, works with those who are delinquent in paying their bills and even, by her own choice, goes up and down the streets of Carnduff to take water metre readings.
Metre-reading might seem like something that can be farmed out, but Annette chooses to do it because it saves taxpayers’ money.
That is a high value for Brown, to be extremely careful with how tax money is spent. She is as careful with town money as she is with her own. She always looks for sales before making any purchases. She has such a reputation for spending frugality that when council got together to plan her 30th anniversary party, they volunteered their time for the meeting.
She is proud of many things that have happened under her tenure. Carnduff’s lagoon project began in 2010 and she’s looking forward to the day when that will be completed. New water metres were installed in every home in 2016 and much to Brown’s delight, it was covered by a grant and didn’t cost the town’s taxpayers a cent.
Brown is an administrator who sees herself as serving her community and she has no immediate plans to retire.