Shirley set to retire after 26 years

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 28, 2001

VIDALIA, La. – After more than 26 years, Concordia Parish Secretary/Treasurer Robbie Shirley knows it’s time to move on.

After serving the parish since April 8, 1975, Police Jury President Charley Blaney announced that Shirley had submitted her resignation – effective Dec. 31, 2001.

&uot;I don’t know what we’ll do without her,&uot; he said.

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Well, the police jury handled that as well. They voted to split the job into two, after a recommendation by the personnel committee.

&uot;She is the guts of the operation,&uot; longtime jury member Fred Falkenheiner said. &uot;She does the budget work, which is eventually approved by the finance committee and the police jury. She’s been the guts of it for a long time.&uot;

Blaney, who is in his second year as president, knows the worth of an experienced secretary/treasurer, who looks after the parish’s finances.

&uot;I value her opinion on everything,&uot; he said. &uot;She’s invaluable to laypeople like us. When you get down to it, we’re part time, and we need someone who’s here full-time to help us with things.&uot;

Shirley said leaving the parish would be like leaving family. But when she leaves her Monday through Friday family, she’ll gain more time with her own – two sons and grandchildren who live in Tennessee, and a brother who lives in Virginia. &uot;I’ll be in Tennessee for a while,&uot; she said. &uot;Then I’ll be hitting that East Coast.

&uot;It will be difficult to leave, but I know it’s time to move on,&uot; she said.

&uot;I like my job. I enjoy coming to work everyday, but it’s time for me to go.&uot;

Items in her job description are almost as long as her list of friends. Her duties include reading, taking and typing meeting records. She’s the custodian of the books and handles all correspondence – as well as being the parish office manager. She is responsible for all the parish’s finances, CDs and even writes grant applications. Oh, there’s one other little detail with which she’s charged – the entire parish budget.

A duty which Shirley has handled for years.

&uot;The finances are in the shape they are because of her,&uot; Falkenheiner said. &uot;They’re in a lot better shape now than they were before before. She made things work when it didn’t look like it would. She’s a professional lady. She is the one that’s done it. Period.&uot;

Shirley acknowledged that Falkenheiner had been a tremendous influence on her life and the way she performed her job. &uot;I worked with him for a long time,&uot; she said. &uot;He came on the jury four years before I was appointed, and has been a big influence on my life.&uot;

She won’t forget those who she’s worked with.

&uot;I feel like I’m leaving my family behind,&uot; she said. ‘I’ve enjoyed it here. It’s been good. Even the bad things were good.&uot;