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Mount Oliver secretary retires after more than 28 years behind the desk

 

June 19, 2012

After more than 28 years on the job, Joanne Malloy will be retiring from her position as the Mount Oliver Borough secretary. Mrs. Malloy's last working day will be at the end of June.

For retiring Mount Oliver borough secretary Joanne Malloy, the best part of the job has not changed in 28

½ years: interacting with co-workers and residents on a daily basis.

Since April 30, she has been training her replacement, Clairton resident Kathy Connolly.

Her effective retirement date is July 27, while her last working day is June 30.

"I will miss all the great people I work with, and getting to know all the residents.

"They come here and are so friendly and nice and try to work with you," said Mrs. Malloy, who turned 65 on June 7.

In her resignation letter to council last month, she expressed her appreciation, gratitude, and love to her former and current colleagues for their support and guidance.

She also thanked past councils, and most of the present council, for their support, confidence, and trust, and all the residents for entrusting her with their challenges.

"I graciously leave you all, and would like to express that this rewarding experience will forever be in my heart and soul," the letter concluded.

Born and raised in the borough, she leaves with a bit of a heavy heart in light of her hometown›s decline from the Mt. Oliver of her youth.

"I don›t know what it will take to bring our little community back to the way it used to be.

"Everybody -- our governing body and residents -- must start learning to work together all the time," she said.

In Nov ., 1983, Mrs. Malloy applied for the job, was interviewed, and hired.

At that time, John Smith was mayor, and John Hindmarch was police chief. Council was comprised of the late president Matt Mutschler, Marty Palma, the late Norman "Doc" Neider, Don Froehlich, the late Bill Holzer, the late Steve Rattay, and Mike Mervosh.

Mrs. Malloy would soon learn that getting accustomed to the various personalities of the myriad council members that come and go is one of the job›s top challenges.

For the first year, she worked with Freda Froelich, the borough›s second borough secretary ever, until she retired. That left Mrs. Malloy and secretary-treasurer Diane Holzer, who began in July, 1983.

In those days, the major office technology was typewriters. Minutes at council meetings were taken by hand and without recordings for back-up.

"But then they talked a little less and in not as much detail," she said of the three to four pages of minutes versus today›s 30 pages.

While new hires to collect sewage and taxes came and went, Mrs. Malloy and Mrs. Holzer remained constants in the office for nearly 30 years.

"We are like family," Mrs. Malloy said not only of Mrs. Holzer, but of the police and street departments which are all housed in the municipal building on Brownsville Rd.

In her retirement, she plans to spend more time with her family: husband and council member Pat Malloy; the couple›s son and daughter-in-law; and two grandsons, who she looks forward to babysitting.

The Malloys may also take day trips to nearby historic places, such as Fort Necessity in Fayette County.

But regardless where her travels take her, she will always carry the memories of her tenure in Mt. Oliver.

"Over my 29 years working with Diane, she has touched me deeply: we could confide in each other, becoming as close as sisters.

"I really, only, got to know Dottie [Smith] when she was elected tax collector about four years ago but she, like Diane, holds a special place in my heart.

"As for Kathy, our new secretary, I wish her all the success in the world.

"I hope she learns to love the job, like I did, because it becomes a part of your life and for me, over a quarter of a century of my life," she said.

 

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