For nearly 24 years, Teresa Byers' face is the first, or one of the first, you see when you enter Galva's City Hall.
For nearly 24 years, Teresa Byers’ face is the first, or one of the first, you see when you enter Galva’s City Hall.
Amid water bills, paychecks and other city-related items, Teresa greets City Hall visitors who wish to pay a bill, ask a question or – sometimes – air a complaint.
And she’s always done it the same way: Pleasantly, considerately and capably. She’s known for having answers to city-related inquiries.
Her own face puts a good face on the city itself.
But ask her about that, and she turns the tables: She speaks of others.
“I have been fortunate to have the best co-workers. That makes doing my job so much better,” said Teresa, who is retiring Jan. 13.
Since beginning with the city 23-1/2 years ago, Teresa has worn two “official” hats: secretary and city clerk. But her knowledge of city issues has allowed her talents to stretch in many directions answering the public’s questions.
“I like to help people,” she said simply, “and you do a lot of that working at City Hall.”
A Galva native, Teresa, 56, has seen a lot happen in the city in over two decades, including economic challenges being felt by many small towns throughout the U.S.
“The city itself has had its ups and downs. We have had businesses leave, but we also have a lot of businesses that have been in Galva for a long time and a lot of new businesses wanting to grow with us,” she noted.
And, she added, “This community sticks together no matter what. The support you can rely on, can never be replaced.”
It’s partly why she’s been known by many people through the years for being a hard-working, enthusiastic volunteer for Galva-related things, such as Freedom Fest and the “Galva: Ready, Set, Grow” group. It flows out of her love for her hometown.
“I will always do whatever it takes to help my hometown,” she said. “I love Galva and am always ready to help whenever I can.”
Teresa admits being on the front lines of city offices can be challenging. But she’s turned it into a positive.
“It is not always easy working with the public. (But) I will say that in my job I have gained more friends than I have lost, and I am thankful for that,” she said. “(And) the public is not just local Galva people; I have had the pleasure of working with people outside of the area, too.
“There are a lot of challenges working for a municipality,” she added. “Mostly just the day-to-day operations. You never know from one day to the next what you are going to have to handle. I have always tried to do the best job possible.”
Through it all, she’s been a shining light in city offices – helping Galva residents in such a way that she’ll be very missed by many.
But on her way out, she again turns the tables.
“I would like to thank all of the mayors, aldermen, city administrators and employees (past and present) that I’ve had the pleasure of working with,” she signs off. “This job has taught me so much and I am very thankful to have had the opportunity to work for the City of Galva.”