“I think I’m ready this time.”
By Bobbie Poynter
Lots of hugs, kisses and tears followed Debbie Hammons out of City Hall Friday as she officially retired – for the second time.
Hammons, 61, has been at Barbourville City Hall since 1975. She was the city clerk until she retired the first time in December 2005. After eight months of rest and relaxation, Debbie Hammons had enough and was ready to go back to work.
“I was bored to death,” said Hammons. “I was so happy to return to city hall in 2006 when Mayor Thompson asked me to come back part time as assistant city clerk. I’ll be forever grateful to him.”
Hammons has outlasted seven different mayors, each with a totally different personality and each with his own priorities.
“I’ve never had any problem with any of our mayors,” said Hammons. “They just expected us to do our jobs and continue to do what was best for the city and its citizens.”
Of all the major changes to the city of Barbourville during her time at city hall, Hammons is most proud of two major projects completed in the city.
“I was so glad to see the flood wall erected,” she said. “This has taken a load off of everyone’s minds. After the last flood, it’s a wonder anyone stayed in Barbourville. It just goes to show you what a strong town this is.”
The floodwall has certainly made Barbourville safer, but Hammons sees her city from a different perspective.
“I have continued to be in awe of the many improvements and beautification projects that have take place in Barbourville over the last 30 years,” said Hammons. “It makes us all proud to have visitors come into our city.”
Hammons says she is looking forward to spending more time with her grandchildren and helping to take care of her elderly parents. But, she will always miss the camaraderie of those with whom she’s worked for so many years at city hall.
“I’ve enjoyed the work and I’ve enjoyed the people,” she said. “However, I’m confident they will continue to carry on without me. I think I’m ready this time.”
Debbie Hammons has been married to her husband, Lyle, for 23 years. Lyle is the former owner of H&R Auto Sales in Gray. They have three children, Byron Hammons, of London, who works at Aisin, Chris Mills and his wife Karen, of Gray – Chris Mills currently works for Surplus Sales. – and Matthew Mills, of Hydrick, who is a disabled United States Air Force veteran.
They have four grandchildren, Tyler Mills, 16, a sophomore at Lynn Camp; Katie Mills, 14, an eighth grader at Corbin Independent; Halle Mills, 12, a sixth grader at Corbin Independent; and Jackson Mills, 8, who is in the second grade, also at Corbin Independent.