By SCOTT AUST, FCEDC Director of Communications
Editor’s Note: This story is part of a series recognizing Finney County employees who retired in 2017.
After more than three decades, Finney County Treasurer Raylene Dick retired Oct. 9. Dick started working in the office in August 1985 and has been treasurer since 1988.
Dick, 58, grew up in Garden City and earned a business degree at Garden City Community College. She and husband Gary Dick have family in Omaha, Kansas City and Enid, Okla. Gary has three adult children and five grandchildren and Raylene has two adult sons.
While Gary and Raylene will still live in Garden City and consider it their “base,” Raylene said they will now have more freedom to travel and visit family now that she is retired.
“We have a home in Colorado so we’re going to spend more time there. I want to volunteer in the community here, too. But I’m not asking anyone for money,” she said.
That was the most difficult part of her job, Dick said. She loves helping people, but sometimes people would come into her office moved to tears because they were experiencing some low times in their lives.
“That does something to your psyche because you want to help them but you can’t,” she said. “There’s times you felt so bad for some people who were going through some tough times.”
Dick said she worked with some great people at the county over the years and she will miss that.
“Looking back, it’s just amazing all the changes that took place. When I first started, we had one huge mainframe in the basement. We all shared one validating machine to do taxes. It took months to process taxes,” she said.
First half property taxes are due Dec. 20 each year and now staff can finish them before they leave for Christmas. But when Dick first started it might be February or March before they could be processed and there would be stacks of mail because the staff had to share one validating machine.
“And everything was done manually back then. Everyone had a typewriter. Now you can’t hardly buy a typewriter,” she said, and all the public notices prepared for the newspaper, such as delinquent tax lists, would have to be hand-typed.
If she had to do things over, Raylene said she wouldn’t change her decision to work for the county.
“When I thought about a career or lifetime work, I never thought about county work, and I’m so glad I did. I got to meet so many great people. You get to meet all walks of life, newcomers, people who’ve lived here forever, and it’s very rewarding knowing you maybe have a tiny impact in your community. I think it’s important to give back,” she said.