MABTON - After working for the City of Mabton for the past 15 years, Sharon Roy has seen about everything that affects the community from her desk at city hall.
The long-time town clerk/treasurer, Roy said the recent invasion of regional and national reporters was the biggest thing that has happened in the small town in her memory.
When the media broke the news that Mabton was home to the nation's first case of mad cow disease, the phones at the 94-year-old city hall started ringing off the wall, she said.
"Of course we didn't know any more about it than the reporters," Roy said of those first few hours of phone calls.
"We finally turned over all the calls and inquiries to our Mayor (David Conradt) and things started settling down for us," she said. She said the influx of media was difficult to deal with but over within hours. By day two of the national story, the media had all packed up and went home, she said.
Admitting she hates to see her hometown show up on the international media map because of something as devastating as the fatal cattle disease, she said she'd like to see the reporters show up just once for some of the good news that happens in her town.
Roy, who was raised in the Satus area west of Mabton and attended Mabton schools, loves working at city hall.
"We have a lot of great things to talk about," she said, pointing to the recent completion of the Catholic diocese's low income housing project in the town.
"We have a great school system and a lot of really hard working people living in our town," she said.
"I'd like the national media to come around to report on those accomplishments," she said.
Roy, who oversees the billings for the city, began work in the Mabton city office in January 1989 as deputy clerk.
"I was working with Jo Balfour, who was the city administrator at the time," she said. "I learned a lot from her," she added. Roy went on to become the clerk treasurer when Balfour left city hall to become Mabton's mayor. Roy now works under Ildia Jackson, the current city administrator. In addition to handling city hall billings, Roy also attends all city council meetings and records the minutes of those meetings.
Before joining the small town's administration, Roy worked for 15 years for the United Telephone Company.
"I also worked for Yakima Federal Bank for a short time," she said.
"I've always liked clerical work," she said. "I especially like working for my home town," she said.
"We really strive to do a good job for the citizens of our community," she added. "It's a matter of pride for me."
Roy and her husband, Ken, of 33 years live in Sunnyside. Together they have two grown sons and one 15-month-old granddaughter, who she said is the joy of her life.
. Julia Hart can be contacted at
(509) 837-4500, or you can e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org