She will miss all of her fellow county clerks and local staff as well as her customers

by: KEVIN SPERL - Crook County Clerk Dee Berman is retiring after holding the position for the past 20 years.

When Dee Berman began her first day as Crook County Clerk, she wasn't sure what to expect.

"I woke up saying, 'What have I done? Oh my God, what have I done?'" she laughed, "because when you suddenly find yourself responsible for everything, and at that point you know nothing, it's very scary."

Now, after 20 years, Berman is ready to step down and enjoy a long-awaited retirement.

"I am 66 - that's retirement age, and I'm ready," she said. "I just want to do something new, something different."

As clerk, Berman has overseen many local elections, work she refers to as the public part of her job, but the office conducts a variety of other tasks that she suspects few people know about.

"We are the keeper of the record for the county," she said. "We do all the county court minutes, we do marriage licenses, we do passports, (and) we are the notary for the county."

The job also gives her the opportunity to officiate wedding ceremonies, something she plans to continue doing in retirement.

On the election side of the job, Berman has endured plenty of 20-hour workdays, as votes pour in from all over the Crook County. She will miss being a part of all the action, but admits it will be nice to go to bed at 9 p.m. on election night if she wants to.

"When you get to a certain age, 20-hour days are really difficult."

Berman will also miss all of the people she has met and interacted with during her tenure.

"I have a really great relationship with the other (county) clerks," she said. "I am going to miss them horribly. I am going to miss my staff and the customers who come in."

Berman made mention of one stand-out customer who did not come to her office, but requested her help off-site.

"I had a gentleman from the Juniper Canyon area call me - he's blind, and he wanted me to help him with his ballot," she recalls. "I called him and said I will be happy to do this, and what time do you want me there and what day? He made the appointment, and he said, 'Since you are coming up, can you stop and get me a gallon of milk and a pound of coffee?' And I said, 'Sure.' So, I got him his gallon of milk and his coffee and I bought him some donuts to go with them and took them up to him. It was pretty funny."

Berman will conclude her clerk career at the end of this year, at which time she hopes to indulge in a few neglected hobbies.

"I paint, I paper craft, I decoupage, I garden," she said. "I haven't been able to do that for 20 years. It's going to be fun."

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