By LeAnn R. Ralph
COLFAX — And then there were three …
In addition to the new director of public works, Rand Bates, and the new administrator clerk-treasurer, Jackie Ponto, the Village of Colfax now also has a new deputy clerk-treasurer.
Sheila Riemer of rural Colfax began working as the village’s deputy clerk-treasurer in the middle of August.
After being in turmoil for two years with first the illness and then the death of long-time village clerk treasurer, John Jahr, the village clerk’s office finally has a full team of an administrator clerk-treasurer and a deputy clerk-treasurer.
“It has been a nice change for me. I’m glad I got the opportunity,” Riemer said.
Prior to accepting the position as deputy clerk-treasurer, Riemer worked in a chiropractic office in Menomonie as the office manager.
“I worked there for 12 years … I was looking for something a little more challenging and a little closer to home. When this came up, I decided to try for it. Of course, there’s always a variety here … almost all of the jobs I’ve had have had a focus on customer service. I like working with people. I like meeting new people. I’m going to get that opportunity here, too,” she said.
The administrator clerk-treasurer’s office offers an almost endless variety, from something as simple as walking across the street to get the mail to something as complex as changing over to new financial system software, which is scheduled to occur January 1 when the Village of Colfax switches over to the Workhorse municipal system.
And then there’s always elections, and the sewer and water utilities, and state regulations and village ordinances, not to mention a variety of training sessions on subjects pertaining to the work of the deputy and the administrator clerk-treasurer.
Riemer says the variety and the new challenges are exactly what she had hoped for.
“I love working here … I’m looking forward to learning more and taking on more responsibility,” she said.
Riemer lives about seven miles west of the village. She and her husband, Scott, have been married for 17 years. Scott owns and operates Riemer Construction Inc. One of his building projects was the home that they have owned since 1999.
Two years ago, the Riemers’ great nephew, Austin, came to live with them.
“It’s life altering when you go from no kids to a 16-year-old, but I think we’ve all adjusted well … He’s a good kid. He loves his basketball. It has gotten us more involved with the community and with the school,” Riemer said, noting that Austin will graduate from Colfax High School in May.
“Everyone here has been so nice. And Jackie is wonderful. She’s a good teacher. She’s so good to work with,” Riemer said.
Riemer is originally from Durand and graduated from Durand High School.
“It’s a good working environment … I love this building. You feel a part of the history (of the village),” she said.
The Colfax Municipal Building was built in 1915 and is on the State and National Register of Historic Places.
Riemer said she saw the ad in the newspaper for the Colfax deputy clerk-treasurer position.
“I didn’t know what my chances would be, but I decided to give it a try,” she said.
“I was tired of insurance companies… dealing with the insurances was such a big part of my job. I wanted something different. I wanted to get away from it. I can still work with customers here,” Riemer said.
Jackie Ponto, administrator clerk-treasurer, said she is delighted to have Sheila on board in the clerk’s office.
“She is doing an awesome job,” Ponto said.
“I’m from Durand, but Colfax is home. I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else,” Riemer said.
The Village of Colfax only has a residency requirement for the administrator clerk-treasurer but not for other village employees.
Riemer said that working in Colfax every day has its advantages and has given her an opportunity to patronize local businesses more often.