DEL NORTE— Rio Grande County Treasurer Peggy Kern recently announced her plans for retirement after 24 years of service to the community.
Kern and her husband Ron moved to the Del Norte area in 1977 from southern Minnesota and raised two sons who are now married and raising families of their own.
Kern came to the position as county treasurer with an accounting degree from Adams State University after leaving a job in insurance in Alamosa. Kern received the first of two certifications in 1995 from Colorado State University with the second one, eight years later in 2003 from Colorado Mesa University.
Looking back over the years that Kern served as county treasurer, she recounted her biggest challenges and the people that helped her along the way. “It was very intimidating walking into this at first. There is a lot that goes into being a county treasurer that most people don’t even know about. We handle the money for the entire county, it’s a big job with a lot of data to manage. You have to know some law and be up to date on statutes in order to offer the best customer service,” said Kern. She continued, explaining that she had a lot of help from the two established employees that were in the treasurer’s office when she started.
“I think out of all of it I am going to miss my co-workers the most. Cherilyn Rue and Carol Voris were a huge part of my success and I couldn’t have done it without their help,” said Kern.
When combined, the three employees will have served Rio Grande County for a total of 84 years. Deputy Treasurer Rue has been in her position for 35 years and Deputy Public Trustee Voris for 25 years. “I love my job and the people here, but it is time to pass on the baton,” said Kern
Kern spoke about her time as treasurer fondly, remembering a time when technology was going to be her biggest challenge. “I remember saying in 1995, that my biggest challenge was going to be keeping up with technology and boy, has it ever been a challenge,” said Kern.
When asked what she plans to do on her vacation, Kern responded, “I plan to ride my horses more, clean my house less and pay less attention to the clock.”
In the six consecutive terms she held in Rio Grande County, Kern spent the entire time as a member of the Colorado County Treasurer’s Association (CCTA) and Public Trustee Association of Colorado (PTAC). In 1999, Kern received the Outstanding Treasurer award for her service from the CCTA, which is one of the highest awards available to county treasurers. She also hosted two CCTA annual continued educational meetings in 1999 and 2017, which is an honor for treasurers state-wide.
Kern will finish out her term which will end Dec. 31, 2018.