All good things must come to an end, and in this case, it would be Carol B. Gawan’s stint of over 40 years as Westmoreland County’s Commissioner of Revenue. She will retire at the start of March this year, but the Board of Supervisors made sure that this would be anything but quiet. At last week’s meeting, they decided to give Gawan a little send-off.
It was Chairman Darryl Fisher that got things going, heaping praise on the retiring revenue commissioner.
“It was right after High School that she came to work here, and has been here ever since,” Fisher stated at the meeting. “She has done a fantastic job here, first as an employee, and then as the Commissioner of Revenue. I’ve got mixed feelings. We don’t desire to see you leave, but at the same time, I’ve learned that life comes in seasons, and it’s time to turn the page and go into that next season, and I wish you the best.
“When you’ve given as much of yourself as you have to this county and that office, it’s certainly worthy of us taking a few minutes to collectively thank you on behalf of this county, as well as individuals.”
Vice Chairman W.W. Hynson continued the praise, noting that she had saved the taxpayers’ money numerous times with reminders that the county taxes were about to come due.
“I wish that everyone that we had to work with had as good of a relationship with this board as you. How many times have we forgotten to turn something in, only for her to call and tell us the deadline for the taxes has hit and we had better get down to the office and get it taken care of? That’s beyond her job and duty.
Hynson continued his praise. “You’ve gone out of your way to help us, and I hope we’ve gone out of our way to help you. We’ll miss you greatly and appreciate all these years of service.”
Supervisor Russ Culver was the next to give a fond farewell.
“We’re all going to miss you,” he stated to Gawan. “We’re a small county and our administration is kinda small and we get to know each other. It’s been a great privilege working with you, but we wish you and yours the best.”
Supervisor Dorothy Tate, who came to the Board of Supervisors 10 years ago, also heaped her praises onto Gawan.
“I won’t forget the kind words and encouragement you gave me,” she stated. “I appreciate that and the relationship we’ve had over the years, and I’m going to miss you.”
Supervisor Timothy Trivett, who had only entered office last year, did not have the extensive relationship working with Gawan that the others had, but he still had plenty to say, as he had quite a bit of experience with her as a taxpayer.
“This is quite a milestone that you have reached,” he noted. “I didn’t get a chance to work with you on the board, but I worked with you plenty before I got here, and I want to thank you for being so responsive.”
The second-to-last to speak up from the Board’s end was County Administrator Norm Risavi.
“Carol, it’s been a long haul,” he chimed in. “We worked through many problems, and I appreciate all the cooperation with you through the years. Enjoy your retirement.”
Also giving Gawan her well-wishes was Karen Lewis, the Assistant County Administrator, simply stating, “We’ll miss you here.”
Last but not least, was the Board of Supervisors Executive Assistant, Latoya Ball-Tate.
“It has been a pleasure,” she stated. “You’ve always been there, always been approachable, and she is the best-dressed manager in the building. We’re going to miss you, and wish you all the best.”
Gawan had some parting words of her own, both at the board meeting and in a letter she sent: “I’m truly grateful for all that you all have done for me. It’s been a blessing to have the opportunity to become Commissioner of Revenue. I never had any idea I’d be here back in 1973, but you never know what God has planned for you. I love everyone and I’m going to miss all of you.”
It goes without saying that the resolution passed unanimously.