Helton leaves Frisco to focus on health
FRISCO – After 13 years of working for the town of Frisco, it was difficult for Deb Helton to leave her position as town clerk. But even though she will no longer be working as part of the town’s staff, Helton said she isn’t finished serving the citizens of Frisco.
“I really like being town clerk, and I really like working for the town, because this is my home,” she said.
A fourth-generation Summit County resident, Helton has lived in the county her whole life and in Frisco for 30 years. She began working for the town in 1990 as assistant bookkeeper. From there, she moved on to deputy town clerk, then to town clerk and clerk finance manager – a position she’s held for about five years.
The progression from bookkeeper to town clerk is not necessarily a typical career progression but was more a matter of opportunities presenting themselves, Helton said. The position gave her the opportunity to interact with the community and meet the residents of Frisco she didn’t already know.
At 49, Helton hasn’t reached the age at which most people retire. Her decision to leave the town was more of a forced retirement. Helton has struggled with a degenerative disk disease (similar to scoliosis) and thoracic outlet syndrome for some time now, and she has found she is no longer able to perform her job duties without pain or medication.
While many might find themselves excited at the prospect of leaving employment, Helton said it has been very difficult for her – so difficult, in fact, she needed a goal to help her through the tough times. That’s why Helton decided that when she serves Frisco again, it will be as mayor or as a council member.
“I wasn’t ready to go,” Helton said. “I think it’s important to stay involved with the town, and that’s a way I could do it part-time.”
Helton is taking the next year to concentrate on her health, through lots of rest and relaxation and lots of walks in the woods.
Frisco Councilmember Jon Zdechlik said he’s sad to see her to go.
“She brings so much history and so much flavor to the town,” Zdechlik said. “She always has perspective and she’s always right there. She has the utmost integrity. You always knew, when you talked to Deb, that you were getting the straight answer.”
“In my short time of working with her, and getting to know her, she’s been an asset to the community and asset to the town government, and her professionalism will be missed,” Frisco Town Manager Alan Briley said.
Jo-Anne Tyson, Frisco’s deputy town clerk, will take over Helton’s position as town clerk Friday. At this time, town officials do not plan to hire someone for deputy town clerk, Briley said. The town has opted to save money by instead redistributing those responsibilities among the current staff.
Lu Snyder can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 203, or email@example.com.
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