Posted 3/23/11 (Wed)
By Tina Foreman
Farmer Staff Writer
After 20 years in office, the time had come for Frances Olson, McKenzie County Auditor to retire.
“I came into the position with the hopes that I would be here for 20 years,” says Olson. “That goal has been achieved and I am ready to retire.”
When she first started the position on April 1, 1991, the courthouse only had one computer, so much of today’s computerized work was done by hand.
“The computers have been a huge change,” adds Olson. “The addition of computers have made the office run much smoother.”
According to Olson, her job as county auditor is one that involves tasks too numerous to list, but her main tasks include being the chief financial officer for the county, election administrator and being the clerk of the county commissioners.
“There are a lot of duties to cover in the auditor’s office, but many of them only come around once a year,” adds Olson. “In some cases, that makes those tasks easier, and in other instances it is a lot harder to only do things once a year.”
According to Olson, election time is probably the most stressful part of her job.
“Elections are stressful,” states Olson. “I worry about everyone showing up when and where they are supposed to. I also worry that there are enough ballots, but not too many because I don’t want to waste the taxpayers’ money.”
Even though her position can be stressful at times, Olson has enjoyed her 20 years.
“I enjoyed being the auditor,” adds Olson. “It is a position that is never the same and I liked that. Even though I was basically doing the same tasks, they were different day to day, week to week, month to month and even year to year.
With retirement beginning on March 31, Olson doesn’t plan to slow down any.
“I have a lot of projects that I want to get finished,” says Olson. “A lot happens in 20 years and now I can catch up on everything that I didn’t have time to finish while I was working.”
As her days as auditor wind down, Olson doesn’t expect to miss her job, but the people that she sees.
“I will miss the people in the court-house and the people from the community that I see,” comments Olson. “In some cases, I see people only once a year, but it is still a time to catch up with them and I will miss that.”
As she prepares to hand over the reins to Linda Svihovec, Olson has only one piece of advice for her successor, “Have fun with the job,” states Olson.