Bath County’s Longtime Treasurer, Mary Susan Blankenship Retires This Year
Warm Springs, VA – Bath County’s Treasurer, Mary Susan Blankenship, will be retiring at the end of this year. Blankenship is wrapping up a career where she has been elected six times and has served Bath for 24 years.
“I’m looking forward to going home on the farm and riding around and playing with my animals,” says Blankenship. “We still have our plants. We have greenhouses where we raise our own plants and then we plant them and raise vegetables so we sell the plants and the vegetables in our little stand. We’ve been doing that for about five or six years and we’re going to continue to do that.”
Blankenship says working as Treasurer has been fun and she’s enjoyed meeting people. She was working in the Accounting Department at The Homestead when she was first elected Treasurer. And she’s seen a lot of changes since she first took office.
“When we started all the books were done by hand”, says Blankenship. “Everything was a ledger, ledger type thing, you wrote out everything. It wasn’t like it is now. And of course, we didn’t have as many state things and mandates, everything has grown over the years. It was a lot simpler when I first came, I will say that.”
“I guess the biggest challenge is all the computer systems that have come in. We’re on a governmental computer system now. It was really a challenge to learn that but after you learn it, it’s fine. But it’s a challenge and that was the biggest change I think that was ever made in this office.”
The Bath Treasurer’s office also houses a Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles location, where office staff handles all types of DMV transactions, except for issuing drivers licenses. The Bath Treasurer’s office is unique in that it offers the DMV services on top of all the accounting work it does.
“Every revenue that comes in here and every check that goes out, no matter whether its schools or social services, goes through this office,” says Blankenship. “And that’s a pretty big job because all of those offices have grown also. Then we do all the reports for the Board we do all the journal entries everything that any accounting office does, we do that. It’s just a little bit harder because it’s a governmental accounting and everything is double posted and that’s for internal control to protect the county’s money, so that’s a little bit harder to do.”
Even though Blankenship is retiring, it doesn’t mean she’s slowing down.
“Well I just want to say that when I do retire that I’m going to continue with the projects that I started in the county,” says Blankenship. “I’m going to do the Emergency Committee and I’m on the Senior Center. I’m a board director for TAP and I just became the Treasurer for the Historical Society. And, of course, my pet project is the retirement home.”