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Bethlehem court honors its own

Two dedication ceremonies held, one joyous and one somber

The Bethlehem Town Court honored both former Bethlehem Court Clerk Barbara Hodom, above, and former Town Justice Mark Jordan at two separate ceremonies held on Thursday, June 22.

The Bethlehem Town Court honored both former Bethlehem Court Clerk Barbara Hodom, above, and former Town Justice Mark Jordan at two separate ceremonies held on Thursday, June 22. Photo by Marcy Velte.

— The Town of Bethlehem honored two of its former and most dedicated court employees at two ceremonies held last week.

On Thursday, June 27, the town held two separate events to recognize former Bethlehem Court Clerk Barbara Hodom and former Town Justice Mark Jordan. While one event was a joyous occasion, the other was more somber.

In the morning, family, friends and former colleagues of Hodom gathered at Bethlehem Town Court for a surprise celebration. Hodom was being honored for her more than 30 years of work with the court. She retired in 2008.

In order to keep the ceremony a surprise, Hodom was told she had a wedding ceremony to perform that morning, as she is still certified as a Justice of the Peace. Instead, she was told by judge Ryan Donovan that she was being honored for her years of service and having the courtroom dedicated in her name.

“We were finally able to keep a secret in Bethlehem,” said Donovan.

The justice reminisced about his first time meeting Hodom and recounted some of her many accomplishments, but said the best way to understand her impact on the town is to look at the numbers.

Hodom was the clerk for the Bethlehem Town Clerk for 11,022 days with 132,000 cases adjudicated during that time, according to Donovan. Hodom had 11 judges report to her over the years, seven supervisors were guided to her and hundreds of attorneys did what she said.

“She’s made a huge and lasting impact on this town and on this court,” said Donovan. “This was more than a job to Barbara, as we all know. She was dedicated, she was committed, she came here after hours when needed and treated her staff like family.”

Starting in 1978, Hodom has worked with the Town of Bethlehem as court clerk, with responsibilities such as being in charge of court records, getting files ready for the different courts and overseeing the staff in a job that she said remained varied and interesting over the years.

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