Town Hall employees in Tilton all donned blonde wigs at a retirement party for Town Clerk/Tax Collector Cindy Reinartz last week. Included in the photo are Reinartz (no wig), Town Administrator Jeanie Forrester, Gayle Bestick, Tim Pearson, Johanna Ames, Lee Ann Moynihan, and Janice Della Cruce, along with their four-legged pal Luke. (Photo by Donna Rhodes) (click for larger version)
October 07, 2021TILTON Ė After 22 years of serving the Town of Tilton as Town Clerk/Tax Collector, Cindy Reinartz made it known that she didn't want her final day at the Town Hall to be emotional and so her co-workers granted her wish.
Just before noon on Sept. 30 she was summoned to the conference room where the entire staff was wearing blonde wigs to match her hair color. They then sang and danced as the beginning of her lighthearted retirement party got underway to the tunes "Celebration" and a fun rendition of the song "Take This Job and Shove it."
"I was bent over laughing," Reinartz said later. "They were hysterical."
She was declared "Queen for the Day" and given a crown to wear throughout the lunchtime party, which included pizza and other treats as Jimmy Buffet's island music then played in the background.
The cluster of bags piled at her feet from fellow town hall employees were filled with both fun and thoughtful gifts. Since Reinartz and her partner Bill were heading off that weekend for a vacation in Florida, she received a People magazine for the trip that included a headline story titled "Road Trip Horrors," bags of mixed nuts for the plane ride, and other travel "necessities." She even received a Minnie Mouse Watch (her "retirement watch") and more. A card expressing how much she will be missed by each of her coworkers accompanied each gift.
The most touching gift of them all however was a beautiful woven throw blanket. It was a realistic depiction of the Tilton Town Hall with the words, "May you be proud of the work you have done, the person you are, and the difference you have made."
"This is incredible," Reinartz said, fighting back her emotions.
The fun picked back up again though with a game the staff called " Cindy Says..." Sewer Commission Administrator Johanna Ames compiled a list of statements or events in Cindy's life, some true, some false, and everyone was given a "Cindy Mask" to hold up each time they thought it was something that she had actually said or done over the years. There was even a few bonus point for those who remembered her long time motto at town hall- "Everyone leaves with a smile."
Deputy TC/TC Kim Sowles expressed her feelings as she watched her mentor of the past 11 years prepare to retire.
"I'm overwhelmed. I can't imagine her not being here at town hall; she's quite a legend," said Sowles.
Until the next election in March, Sowles will take over the duties of the office with assistance from an interim Deputy Town Clerk/Tax Collector.
As the lively celebration settled down and employees prepared to end their lunchtime party for Reinartz, she also had a few things to say about her two-plus decades as TC/TC in a town she not only lived and worked in, but volunteered in as well.
"I want the townspeople to know how much I appreciated them and their confidence in me to reelect me each term," said Reinartz. "I really enjoyed working for them. I always tried to treat people the way I would want to be treated, while treating them all the same."
She said the current town hall staff is the best she has ever worked with in her 22 years in Tilton, praising them as professionals who know their jobs well, while adding, "They're a great resource for the residents. They've been more like a family to me and it's going to be weird not coming here every day."
Reinartz also asked that residents stay involved with the local government and events to keep the Town of Tilton a great place to live, recreate and do business.
Once she and Bill return from vacation she said they will make decisions about where to live and what they will do in the future, with an eye on moving a bit south to be closer to Bill's children and grandchildren. A future retirement home in Florida is also be considered.
A big lover of dogs, as all who have registered their dog with her over the years know, she said that love might even lead her to a new job down the road.
"Maybe I'll work part-time as a dog walker. Who knows?" Reinartz said with a wink and a grin.