Longtime Marion town employee says goodbye after 32 years

May 28, 2024

MARION — A longtime town of Marion employee who is credited with saving the Marion Town House from catching fire in 2000 will retire from her role after 32 years. 

Accounts payable clerk Kathy Kearns smelled something burning shortly before the building was set to close for the weekend on a Friday afternoon. When she couldn’t figure out the source of the smell, she called the fire department, who found arcing wires behind a back office wall.

“The fire department said if we had gone home, the town house likely would have burned down,” Kearns said.

Beyond her building-saving feat, Kearns’s tenure in the finance department is also remembered fondly by Town Administrator Geoff Gorman. 

“Kathy has been a dedicated town employee,” Gorman said. “Always putting the needs of the residents of the town first, jumping in wherever she was needed.”

Kearns saw many changes at town hall over her career, particularly the computerization of services. 

“We didn’t have email when I started,” Kearns said. 

“Kathy has been a constant presence in town hall, despite changes in leadership, policies and technology,” Gorman said. “She has an institutional memory that will be hard to replace.”

Kearns, a mother of three and grandmother to five, said that she will “miss everybody here,” and among other activities, hopes to spend her retirement in her new camper and working in her yard.