Town clerk to retire after 34 years

Swatling may have been a town hall fixture for 34 years and seen various changeovers in town government, but the position of Ballston town clerk has been a family affair for much longer.

"Out of the last 70 years, 65 out of the 70 either my father or I was the town clerk," said Swatling. "I grew up with it my whole lifetime and I was his deputy for 12 years, so I knew what I was getting into."

When Swatling was first approached about taking over when her father retired, there was no town hall and the office was out of your home. For Swatling, home was a small living space above her father's hardware store caring for a 4-year-old and 6-month-old.

"What if I was in the middle of changing a diaper and I thought, 'how do I do this if someone comes for a license?'" said Swatling.

Kidding, Swatling said "you build me a town hall and I might consider it." Five years later, there was a town hall and she was again asked to run for town clerk. This time, she said yes.

"By then my son was in kindergarten and I worked part-time at that time," said Swatling.

The most notable changes over the years has been population growth, said Swatling.

"There are many more housing developments and more people than when I started," said Swatling.

Supervisor Patti Southworth said Swatling helped her invaluably when she first took office.

"She's been very responsible to residents and the town board and I know very instrumental in sharing the history from previous boards and resolutions with me as a new supervisor and I appreciate that and thank her for that," said Southworth. "She'll be missed and everyone in town will definitely feel her loss. She's given a lot of years and herself and personal service to the town."

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