Staff photo by Allison Potter
Retiring town finance director Peggy Jones smiles as she receives gifts and praise during a party in her honor on Monday, Sept. 30, her last day on the job.
In front of a full room of friends, coworkers and family in Wrightsville Beach Town Hall, town finance director Peggy Jones was bestowed the key to Wrightsville Beach by Mayor David Cignotti as a retirement gift for her 28 years of service to the town.
The first person to be given a key to the town, Jones said she was taken aback by the number of people who attended her retirement party on Monday, Sept. 30.
“I had no idea so many people would show up,” Jones said. “I had to turn my keys in earlier today so I’m glad I got one to keep.”
Jones started working for the town in November 1985 as a front office administrative assistant and said she relished her time working for a small town.
“I loved working for a small town like Wrightsville Beach; it is so much different in Wilmington and the county because there are hundreds of employees,” she said. “I also liked that the residents would come in and pay water bills, come in for coffee and you would get to know them.”
In attendance at Jones’ retirement party were two town employees she has worked with for more than 20 years: town clerk Sylvia Holleman and human resources specialist Debra Bland.
“I am really going to miss her because she is really more like a sister than a coworker,” Holleman said. “I’ll be happy for her though … I know she has been looking forward to it.”
Other town departments presented Jones with plaques, beach bags and kind words.
Public works director Mike Vukelich said, “Few people are irreplaceable but you’re as close as it gets.”
Planning and parks director Tony Wilson said he would miss seeing her smiling face every morning.
“She was always very helpful to everyone who asked and you would see her car here long after hours,” Wilson said.
Current Mayor Pro Tem Bill Sisson and former Alderwoman Lisa Weeks also spoke of how Jones was willing to stay late and come in on weekends to finish a job, adding that she worked well with the elected officials.
“She always had the employees’ best interest at heart when we were going through budgeting,” Weeks said.
When asked what she would miss most about working for the town Jones said it would be her coworkers and the residents.
“I will miss coming across the drawbridge and the people here in general admin and the planning department that I see every day,” Jones said. “Once I started here I really enjoyed it and didn’t want to move anywhere else. This town has been very good to me and I do deeply appreciate all the opportunities I’ve had here.”
With Sept. 30 being her last day, Jones said she would now enjoy the free time she has to spend with her family, travelling and enjoying Wrightsville Beach from outside her office.
“I love the people I just want to do something other than budgets and audits,” she said. “I am going to spend more time over here as a tourist … out there on the Loop and walking on the beach instead of looking at it.”