Borough clerk retires after 26 years of service to Franklin

| 21 Feb 2012 | 10:47

    FRANKLIN-Contrary to popular belief, borough clerks and administrators do not work your typical 9-to-5, Monday-through-Friday hours, then call it a day and go home. At least, not if their name is Rachel Heath, Franklin's beloved and highly-respected clerk/administrator, who's about to call it a career. Heath, who has become almost synonymous with Franklin, has held the dual post for eight years, and will spend her last day on the job on Friday, July 9. In her stead, Richard Wolak will serve as new borough administrator, while a new clerk will be hired by the town soon. Many would claim that Heath has been so good at her work, that it's simply not possible to expect anyone to continue to play dual roles. The outgoing clerk/administrator, however, says times are changing. "The municipal clerk always did supervise the everyday activities of the borough," explained Heath, who first served Franklin as a part-time welfare director from 1983-87, before returning in 1994 for a full-time position as deputy borough clerk. Two years later, when clerk/administrator Jim Dougherty left to accept a similar position in Chester, Heath became acting clerk/administrator on Jan.1, 1996. After receiving her Municipal Clerk Certification at the end of that year, the "acting" was dropped from her title. "And then over the years, it evolved into (separate) administrative functions," Heath said. "In 1986, the town recognized the fact that they had to have an administrator, hence putting the two positions together. Now, you clearly need someone to stand alone as administrator." Heath has frequently spent many extra hours alone working into the night, a fact that has not gone unnoticed. "She was great working with, and she put in a lot of time for the town, above and beyond what she should have," said former mayor Ed