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January 2, 2014

White Springs town hall reorganizes

Jasper — With White Springs Town Clerk Shirley Heath set to retire in January, town hall has had to make some adjustments.

The town recently hired Anita Rivers to help fill in the gap when Heath leaves in January and between current Finance Director Pam Tomlinson and Rivers, they will be taking over the duties that Heath has been performing for the last 18 years.

Tomlinson has been with the town almost 14 years, serving as finance director. She is also a licensed real estate agent. Her license is inactive, but she has maintained it through the years, she said, just in case. She is a White Springs resident and has been married for 38 years to her husband Gary, who used to own L.A.’s Restaurant, which is now Fat Belly’s under new ownership. They have three daughters and six grandsons.

“That’s my life in a nutshell,” Tomlinson said with a chuckle.

Tomlinson will continue her duties as finance director, as well as take on part of Heath’s duties, with Rivers taking on the rest.

“I hope to do the best I can at that job,” she said, referring to town clerk duties. “I enjoy working with the town and I enjoy working with everyone,” said Tomlinson.

Tomlinson is a member of the Florida Government Finance Officers Association (FGFOA) and will join the Florida Association of Court Clerks (FACC), as well as undergo additional training.

“Shirley’s going to be much missed by all of the staff,” said Tomlinson, getting a bit choked up as she spoke. “I’ve known Shirley both personally, as well as professionally, and of course, we’ll still be friends even after she’s gone.”

Rivers is also a White Springs resident, originally from Lake City. She is a graduate of Columbia County High School. In 1991, Rivers married her husband David and moved to White Springs. They have two sons, David Jr., 17, and Devaun, 10.

Rivers has worked for the Columbia County School District as a para professional and the Hamilton County School District as a substitute teacher and substitute bus driver, as well as served as administrator for the H.O.P.E. program in White Springs for one year. She also has experience in clerical work in the medical field, cashier experience, as well as experience dealing with the public.

Rivers was hired by the town of White Springs on Tuesday, Dec. 3, as an administrative assistant and receptionist.

“I’m very excited to be in this position and able to have this job close to home,” said Rivers. “It’s a great opportunity for me.”

Rivers said she has known Heath and Tomlinson for a long time and thinks highly of them both. She said she will surely miss Heath, but looks forward to working alongside Tomlinson.

When asked what she thought of her boss, Rivers said, “Oh, I love Mr. (Bob) Farley. He’s a character.”

Tomlinson echoed her statement, saying, “It’s a pleasure to work for him. I really like him. He’s brought a lot of his knowledge from his past experience into White Springs and taught us a great deal. As he states, ‘work smarter, not harder’.”

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