By Liz Schevtchuk Armstrong

Pauline Minners retired in May after 13 years as Nelsonville village clerk.

Pauline Minners at the Nelsonville village office (Photo by L.S. Armstrong)

What does the village clerk do?
It’s a diverse job. The clerk is the village clerk, the justice court clerk, the treasurer, the Zoning Board of Appeals secretary, the Planning Board secretary and the building inspector’s secretary. I love Nelsonville. The people are really nice and very friendly. And all the mayors and trustees have been very nice. I haven’t had one I wanted to kick out the door.

I liked being the registrar. You get to look at all the old records and see the names of families that have been here forever, like the Hustises, the Van Tassels and the Nelsons. People would come in to do their genealogy searches. We have books that go way back. One, I call the big book of deaths. When anybody dies in the village, not in the hospital, we have to issue the death certificate. When someone is born at home, we have to issue the birth certificate. We don’t do marriage licenses. For those, you still go to Philipstown Town Hall.

What didn’t you like?
The night meetings. It used to be two or three nights a month but it got worse last year because of the cell tower issue — Zoning Board of Appeals, Planning Board, Village Board workshops. For years I had somebody helping me. Then she was only coming once a month, and things started piling up. You need someone to help part-time.

Have you always lived in Philipstown?
I was living in White Plains and my parents lived in Nelsonville. I moved here when Ashley was born, 23 years ago. She’s my grand-niece, actually, but I’ve had custody of her since she was born, so she’s my daughter. She goes back to school, to Salem State University, in Massachusetts, in September.

What have you been doing since you retired?
Playing taxi cab driver for Ashley. She’s taking a summer course at Dutchess Community College in Poughkeepsie. I hang out in the library while she’s in class. I like to read. Also, I want to start some trips with my sister; she lives next door to me.

What’s best about retirement — and any downsides?
Not having anything to worry about. Downside? I haven’t found one yet.

Behind The Story

Type: News

News: Based on facts, either observed and verified directly by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.

Armstrong was the founding news editor of The Current (then known as in 2010 and later a senior correspondent and contributing editor for the paper. She worked earlier in Washington as a White House correspondent and national affairs reporter and assistant news editor for daily international news services. Location: Cold Spring. Languages: English. Areas of expertise: Politics and government