Jefferson clerk reflects on career

Patty Fisher is the Jefferson village clerk-treasurer.

JEFFERSON — Jefferson village Clerk Treasurer Patty Fisher’s foray into elected office all began when she was upset about a sewer bill in 1996.

Almost 25 years later she is still in office and will pursue re-election for another four-year term in November. Fisher said she never thought she would stay in elected office as long as she has. 

“I questioned my sewer bill and my neighbor was on council,” Fisher said. “She suggested running for clerk and I decided to do it. I never thought in a million years I would win.”

Fisher said she has only been opposed several times, the last being after her third term.

Prior to entering public office, Fisher did bookkeeping and accounting for K-Mart, where she worked from 1977 to 1996. For a time, Fisher said she also ran a cleaning business on the side.

Though Fisher said she always wanted to go to college to pursue an accounting degree, her obligations to home and children as a single mother prevented her from completing a degree.

“I raised three boys on my own,” she said. “I have been divorced since 1999 and I have always worked two jobs.”

Over the years, Fisher said she has taken second jobs in retail to supplement her income. Her “second job” these days is with Spring Hill Winery, where she does management and some serving too.

Fisher said divorce is tough, but with it also comes a desire to succeed and “make it.” Fisher said she recalls being younger and divorced and having people look at her in a certain way or tell her that she wouldn’t make it on her own or that she would need a man to survive.

These days, Fisher said she no longer hears that from anyone. She set a goal to be able to pay for the first year of college for all of her children. By the end of this year, she will have paid off that goal.

Fisher said she also wanted to make sure she had enough money to retire, so she made a vow to herself that she would never be at retirement age and unable to survive. That is why she has worked part-time jobs on the side.

“I wanted to prove to everybody that I could do it on my own,” she said. “I could support my three kids. I could put them through college, I could make money and I could survive.”

For anyone, man or woman, who wants to succeed in life they must be willing to set goals for themselves and do whatever it takes to achieve those goals, Fisher said.

“I set high goals and acted on those goals,” she said.

Outside of her role as clerk treasurer, Fisher serves as president of the Jefferson Chamber of Commerce. She also spends a lot of time volunteering within the community for things like the Covered Bridge Festival, a variety of parades and Little League.

Fisher said she is proud of her hometown of Jefferson and she wants others to be as well.

“In my position I hear people complain about things,” Fisher said. “If you want things to change for your community you have to be a part of it. You have to volunteer and put your time in. I want people to be involved in and come back to Jefferson.”