RETIRING: Becky Pyles talks about her 27 years as the Carrollton clerk-treasurer. Pyles was given a retirement party Wednesday and will complete her service to the city on Dec. 31. (Staff photo by Ken Ritchie)
RETIRING: Becky Pyles talks about her 27 years as the Carrollton clerk-treasurer. Pyles was given a retirement party Wednesday and will complete her service to the city on Dec. 31. (Staff photo by Ken Ritchie)
Becky Pyles plans to spend time traveling with her family as she begins her retirement - but one place she doesn't plan to visit is the office where she worked for nearly three decades.

Pyles worked 27 years as Carrollton's city clerk-treasurer. While some retirees enjoy visiting their former workplace, she doesn't plan to be one of them.

Yet, she said, she isn't against the idea of meeting co-workers at a local restaurant or chatting on the phone every now and then.

"My husband has been waiting on me (to retire)," she said. "We want to do some traveling."

The first trip on their agenda? Alaska.

Pyles said they hope to plan a cruise and train ride to the state. She's also looking forward to spending time with her family and grandchildren and using some of her new-found free time to digitize years worth of photos.

"I'm hoping to have a little time to do the stuff I haven't in the past 27 years," she said.

Pyles first came to work as the city's clerk-treasurer in 1985. She was unemployed at the time, and former Carrollton Mayor Bill Welty offered her the job.

"I said, 'Yeah, that might be interesting,'" Pyles said. "I really didn't think about staying that long in the beginning."

She left a work environment that had computers throughout the office, but the city of Carrollton didn't have the same advanced technology in 1985. Everything was hand-written.

"It was a good thing I liked numbers," she said. The city installed computers in her first year.

Pyles worked with five mayors, 12 different council members and six city attorneys.

"It's been a pretty close-knit group of people," she said.

Carrollton Mayor Gene McMurry told city council members Monday that Pyles made his job easier by knowing many of the city statutes and regulations without the need to look them up.

He repeated those sentiments at a retirement party in Pyles' honor at Carrollton's City Hall Council Chamber room Wednesday.

"I've never worked with anyone who has as much knowledge of city government or city ordinances as Becky does," McMurry said.

Pyles credits her drive to learn new things - plus training sessions with clerks' associations - for her expertise. Pyles became the first certified clerk in Carrollton. She was also the sixth clerk in Kentucky to earn international recognition by acquiring the IIMC Master Clerk designation in 2006. She also was involved with the Kentucky Municipal Clerks Association, the Northern Kentucky Municipal Clerks Association and the International Clerks Association.

"If you become a sponge and you take it in, you'll learn," she said. "It's just a matter of being willing to learn."

A few things won't change after Pyles retires. She plans to continue to be an early riser, something she's been doing since she was a child.

"I'm an early bird," Pyles said. "My time clock will never change."

Pyles also knows she'll keep up with what happens in the city, even though her husband has encouraged her not to worry about it anymore.

"I will be interested (in city matters)," she said. "I'll try not to be, but I will."

"Becky cares about this community," McMurry said. "We're going to miss you."

Pyles said she's leaving the city in good hands. Assistant clerk Leatha Grimes is taking over as the city's clerk-treasurer in the new year.

Pyles' parting advice that she leaves behind to future city clerk-treasurers is simple...

"Be fair, be consistent, and the main thing is balance that budget," she said.