Dewitt Nobles still smiling after 39 years on the job

Published on April 11, 2013 with No Comments

For Dewitt Nobles, a sense of humor is an important asset to help her do her job well.

That’s because she’s the Milton city clerk, whose job includes sending all the city’s bills, collecting the payments, and taking action to make delinquents pay what they owe. Something about money can make some folks mean.

Just the other day, an irate customer called Nobles “some nice names,” but she shrugged off the insults.

A tongue-in-cheek sign on her office door sums up her philosophy: “Diplomacy Dept. – We do and say the nastiest things in the nicest ways.”

Fair treatment – “I try to treat everybody fair,’ said Nobles, who has been city clerk since 1974.

Her 39 years on the job make her the city’s senior employee, “even though “I’m only 40,” she says with a smile.

Nobles had a background in finance – she operated a credit bureau – when she ran for the office. She lost the first time, but won on her second try and she’s been at City Hall ever since.

The world has changed in many ways in those 39 years, especially due to computers, which transformed the workplace dramatically. Records once kept laboriously by hand now are stored on computers.
“I’ve seen a lot of changes,” said Nobles, 78, recalling the old days of pencils and paper.

The clerk’s duties include billing, payroll and processing anything else to do with the city’s money. And it’s not just numbers; her office has to keep track of words, too, by taking minutes of City Council meetings.

“If I didn’t have good help, I couldn’t do it,” Nobles said, noting that her office has relatively little turnover among employees.

Having fun

She’ll be well on the other side of 80 by the time she completes her current term in 2016, but to Nobles, “age is just a number.”
She golfs as often as she can – usually at the Tanglewood and Stonebrook courses – and she teaches first-graders in Sunday School at Ferris Hill Baptist Church. And she has 10 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

So she’s a busy person.

And please, try not to be negative around her.

As another sign in her office says, “Yesterday was the deadline on all complaints.”

 

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