One of Deschutes county’s longest-serving politicians will retire next month.
Nancy Blankenship became County Clerk in 2003; she served as Redmond’s city recorder for 15 years before that.
“I think in the long run it’s the people you meet along the way, like just meeting you today and I’ve had some great experiences with people and those are the things that when you get to the end of your career, those are the things that you remember, it’s not the things that stress you out because there is lots of things that stress you out,” Blankenship said. “It is the people that you met and the friendships that you made and those are the good memories you take with you.”
Now she says it’s time to tackle her bucket list.
“As hard as a decision as it was, it is time to spend some time with friends and family while we all still have our health and have the ability to have some fun and so some things,” Blankenship said.
As County Clerk, most of Blankenship’s work went unnoticed, only coming to light every election season.
“Typically the county clerk oversees elections, as well as recording,” she said.
She often handles mundane, but important paperwork.
“If you buy or sell property you are recording your documents,” Blankenship said. “We also issue marriage licenses and in Deschutes County, we are also in acceptance of the passport.”
Sometimes, though, she handles the unusual.
“I remember the first time somebody called about, can I bury somebody on my property and I’m like what … Well, let me get back to you,” Blankenship said. “So, I had to do some research and you know there is a statute that allows burial on private property. So now I have a file in my desk drawer about burials on private property, so who would have known right?”
Blankenship has seen a lot of change since she took over as clerk in 2003.
“We were at about 77,000 registered voters and we are at about 150,000 registered voters 18 years later,” she added.
As Deschutes County Commissioner Tony DeBone has worked with Blankenship for 11 years.
“It has been an honor and pleasure to work with her,” DeBone said. “Always smiles, a lot of energy coming down the hall when we see Nancy. She’s really kept the ship running around down the middle in the clerk’s office, but ya Nancy Blankenship is a very special person in the office.”
Blankenship plans to enjoy retirement.
“I’ve got some camping and some traveling that I have on my bucket list to spend some time with my friends and family and just having the ability to not have the alarm go on at 5:30 every morning. That is the first thing that I am really looking forward to,” Blankenship said.