Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — It was only fitting that Wednesday’s open house to honor Kathie Smith on her retirement be held in the Barker Free Library’s children’s room. As a longtime Friend of the Barker Library, Smith worked tirelessly to raise the money to build that addition and to garner community support to keep the library and its programs running. Even though Kathie is retiring from her position as the Barker Village Clerk-Treasurer, she will never give up her position as one of Barker’s biggest boosters. Former Mayor Cheryl Parr said it best when she said, “If you want to know all about the best of Barker, Kathie embodies that.”
Smith has been the village clerk-treasurer for 16 years and had previously spent nine years as the deputy clerk-treasurer. Her official resume is impressive. Overseeing village affairs means keeping updated on new laws and procedures, and in May, 1998 Smith received her Registered Municipal Clerk Certification from the NYS Association of City and Village Clerks. From 1998 to 2001, she held the positions of treasurer, secretary, vice-president and president within the Niagara County Municipal Clerks Association. Earning her spot as a Credentialed Municipal Finance Officer on behalf of NYS Society of Municipal Finance Officers closely followed the Certified Municipal Clerk accreditation from the International Institute of Municipal Clerks in 2006. She went on to complete 100 credit hours to graduate from Cornell Municipal Clerks Institute and attended 10 New York Conference of Mayors Fall Training Schools for City and Village Officials.
For the last eight years, Smith has served on the Ad Hoc Mutual Self Insurance Advisory Committee and was appointed by the Niagara County Legislature. All those certificates do not tell the whole story of what Smith has contributed to her community.
No certificate tells you that Smith’s effervescent smile always lights up the office, and that she is the calming, optimistic and encouraging force in any crisis. Officially, Smith extended her knowledge of her job by attending seminars and sharing information with other clerks, even fostering a mentorship with those just entering their careers. Middleport Village Clerk Rebecca Schweigert came to the tribute and shared her experience of being a bewildered new clerk. “Kathie came right over and introduced herself and offered me help and support. Her vast knowledge and experience helped me so much over the years and we could commiserate over the sometimes thankless jobs we had and the changing standards we had to meet. She is a wonderful mentor and a great friend.”