After 32 years serving as the Lloyd Town Clerk, Rosalie Peplow decided to retire, making it official on May 5. Deputy Town Clerk Wendy Rosinski was approved by the Town Board and sworn in to take her place.
Peplow helped everyone who came through her door.
“I gave them my undivided attention to find the answer, even though I didn’t know the answer, I would call somebody up and find it,” she said. “That made me feel really content, knowing that I was able to do that for people.”
Peplow plans to spend more time with her grandchildren.
“I am blessed with three grandchildren. My grandson Hudson will be 15 in May and Vivianna is just 10 and Christopher who is five,” she said.
Peplow has taken Hudson to many local historical sites in the area since he was a little boy.
“He has acquired a real love of history; he is a WW II buff. He comes to all of the historical society meetings with me and I gave him a gift of being a lifetime member of the association,” she said. “He is thrilled with that.”
Peplow said Vivianna is “delightful” and calls her “my little actress and each child has had the fun of learning about the Hudson River.”
Peplow said retirement will provide her time, “to delve into participating in history, in learning more about history and visiting historical places. It’s something I really enjoy.”
Peplow is pleased that Rosinski is the new Town Clerk.
“I am very, very happy that Wendy will be taking over because she has the same interest in serving the public and making sure that she does the research so she has the right answer to give people and that things are recorded properly,” Peplow said.
Peplow started out as Deputy Town Clerk in 1985 but the following year assumed the position of Town Clerk. In 1988 she also became the Tax Collector and a Notary Public.
From 1988 to 1996 Peplow became the Tax Collector’s Association Vice President, was appointed the Town’s Record Management Officer, obtained grant money to purchase a micro film reader/printer to preserve and save the minutes of the Town, Planning and Zoning Boards. She also secured a $35,000 grant to study and implement a plan for GIS in town and took on the job of Treasurer of the Lloyd Historical Society.
In a written statement, Peplow explained a few additional accomplishments.
“I feel very privileged that I became Town Clerk at a time when I was able to bring the Town Clerk/Tax Collector’s office into the age of technology. I obtained the first computer, tax collection and Town Clerk cashbook computer programs. I implemented the first record management program, had the NYS Department of Education disposition schedule adopted by the Town Board and then started the program for the regular disposition of Town records. I obtained grants to accomplish this.”
Peplow previously worked for the New York Telephone Company but took some time off to raise her daughter. Eager to get back into the workforce, Peplow, then in her early 40s, successfully ran for Town Clerk and has never lost a subsequent race.
Peplow is proud to have clarified meeting minutes by elaborating on what took place at a meeting and where and when they happened.
“I think that is one of the things I changed in how minutes were done,” she said. She is particularly thankful to town attorney Lew DiStasi and then budget officer Tom Shay for their encouragement and support during her tenderfoot years.
Peplow established a plan for managing the town’s records, saying that “nobody thought about it.” She also obtained a tax collection computer program because the late Daniel Alfonso, who was the Ulster County Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, cut through the red tape, telling the head of the County’s Information Services to “give them what they want. So we got a program, which is beautiful because we were able to tell Information Services what we needed in a program for tax collection.”
Peplow said moving into the modern age was a slow process.
“The most difficult thing was getting people to understand the importance of it and how it benefits you in the long run,” she said. “We were one of the first towns to have digitized records.”
Peplow said the worlds of 1985 and 2019 are like, “night and day.”
“It’s wonderful that we have all this modern technology and can easily search and find records but by the same token it’s very difficult because we’re a limited number of employees and now you’ve added more responsibility of putting stuff on the [town’s] website; there’s another layer, especially those Freedom of Information requests.”
In looking back over her long career as Town Clerk, Peplow said she “absolutely” enjoyed her job, right from the start, “because I got so much satisfaction out of being able to help people, so I knew it was something for me. When this came along I really believed that God pushed me here.”