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Treadway closes 40 years of service to Elizabethton

John Thompson • Apr 28, 2019 at 6:01 PM

ELIZABETHTON — After working for the city of Elizabethton for 40 years, serving under eight different city managers and four different police chiefs; Teresa Treadway said farewell to her fellow employees and friends on Friday in a reception in City Hall on Friday afternoon.

Treadway is proud of her long years of service and accomplishments and answered Five Questions for the Johnson City Press on her last day.

When did you start working for the city?

“I started working part time in the spring of 1977. I worked in the Building and Tax Office, doing tax notices that year and then again in 1978 and 1979. A full-time job opening came available in the Finance Department and I was hired full time on May 7, 1979, as the switchboard operator and assistant cashier.”

What was the office technology and equipment like back then in City Hall?

“I was the first person you talked to if you called anyone in city government. There were no direct lines and this was before cell phones. There were five local lines and one Johnson City line. During this time, I learned to do the payroll on an IBM punchcard computer, filling in for the payroll clerk anytime she was off. This was the only computer the city had until we got a computerized cash register and then a few desktop computers. In 1986 , I rang up the sale of the Carter County Memorial Hospital for $3 million. I had to do it in several transactions because the computer could not hold that many zeroes.”

There was also no electronic transfer of funds. Every day, Treadway would have to carry deposit bags full of money to the banks on Elk Avenue. “Carter County Bank got the General Fund deposits and Citizens Bank got the Water Department Funds. At tax time those bags got very heavy. Looking back, I am surprised I was never robbed. It was a different time back then, and I never really thought about it.”

Another big change was the opening of the new City Hall, across the street from the old City Hall. “In the fall of 1989 city employees gave up their Labor Day holiday day weekend to move equipment, furniture, and storage boxes from the old City Hall across the street to the newly constructed City Hall we are now using. From the front of the new City Hall, we watched the track hoe take down the old City Hall and jail. I was still responsible for the switchboard, processing some accounts payable bills, ordering office supplies, balancing the payment drawers and making deposits. Add to that a second payment window I operated, while other office employees took care of the drive-thru windows.”

When did you transfer to the Police Department?

“During a change in July 1994, I applied for a transfer to the Police Department and was hired as the records clerk and the Municipal Court clerk. I have seen court dockets from handwritten huge book to computer-generated printouts. I was appointed TAC (Terminal Agency Coordinator), acting as a liaison between the Elizbethton Police Department and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation for the National Crime Information Center computer functions. The state went to the Tennessee Incident Based Reporting System and I was appointed records agency coordinator. I certified our department three different times in this system, every time we changed computer systems. I was instrumental in acquiring the Integrated Criminal Justice Portal and the TLO program for our department to use.

“I moved into the Criminal Investigation Division as an administrative assistant in 2004. Then, in 2008, the Police Department decided to put laptop computers in the cruisers. That year and the next I trained the entire department to be Query certified, so they could make and receive NCIC transitions on their laptops. I have seen to it those certifications were maintained on a two-year renewal schedule. I copy case files for the district attorney’s office for each grand jury and aid investigators with anything they need on their cases.”

“This job has been wonderful and I will miss it.”

Why did you choose this time to retire?

“Now, 40 years later, I feel it is time to enjoy my family and my hobbies. I enjoy capturing the beauty of our Carter County with a camera, delving into the history of our area and working with the Watauga Historical Association to preserve that history. I have my Mary Kay Cosmetics business I can work more, a garden to plant, and many other projects I’ve saved to do.”

Will you be more active in your history projects?

“Yes. I will be freed up to do more things. I will be at a genealogy program in Newland, N.C., on June 15. I will still be volunteering for genealogy nights at the Elizabethton Public Library and I will still be working every month with the Watauga Historical Association on their programs at the Tipton Haynes Historic Site. I won’t be bored.”

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