Carbon County Treasurer Patricia Bentsen has announced her pending retirement after more than 36 years in the Treasurer’s Office. Bentsen’s last day as treasurer will be Dec. 3.
A Rawlins native, Bentsen began working in the Treasurer’s Office in May 1985 under then-Treasurer Mary Adoloph. She was hired into the Motor Vehicle Office at the Carbon County Courthouse, where she rose to be head of that department before becoming treasurer herself.
Bentsen was appointed to the office in August 2017 to fill the remainder of the term left when longtime Treasurer Cindy Baldwin retired. She ran and was elected as County Treasurer in 2018.
To fill this elected position, the county commissioners will have to appoint a replacement to serve the rest of Bentsen's term through December 2022.
Since Bentsen was elected as a Democrat, the Democratic Party will be asked to submit three names to the commissioners for consideration as a replacement, said Carbon County Clerk Gwynn Bartlett. The appointment could be made at the Dec. 7 commission meeting.
Jake Mickelson, Chairman of the Carbon County Democratic Party, after the meeting said that, “We just learned about the resignation and look forward to following the law to fill the vacancy.”
Bentsen tearfully read her letter of resignation into the record at last week's commission meeting. She spoke of how “lifelong friendships were formed and will never be forgotten.”
She also spoke of the positive working relationship she had with the commissioners.
“I cannot stress enough how very fortunate and blessed I am to have worked with such a caring and amazing board along with the Carbon County Clerk (Gwynn Bartlett)," she said. "Carbon County should be proud and honored to have this board representing the citizens of Carbon County.
“During the course of the years, it has been both an honor at times and a nightmare to see the changes that have transpired (in the Treasurer’s Office).
“After 36-and-half years, it is time to move on and spend time with my husband, (Dennis) who recently retired, and my grandchildren and carry on with this chapter called life.”
The Bentsen’s have two children, Heather and her husband Josh, who lives in Texas, and Justin, who lives in Rawlins with his wife Amy and four children.
“We have no plans to relocate elsewhere at this time,"' she said in response to after meeting questions. “Volunteering is also high on list (as well as to) work on several sewing projects which have been pushed to the dark part of my craft closet.”
Each of the commissioners spoke highly of Bentsen’s time in the Treasurer’s Office.
Chairman W. John Johnson spoke first and said, “I am not very often in my life … at a loss for words. It’s been a pleasure. Thank you for umpteen years of service and as much as I don’t like the decision, I respect it and I respect you for doing what you need to do for you and your family. Thank you for what you have done and God Speed.”
Later in the tributes, Johnson said, “right before I was informed of this (resignation) we had a meeting with the (state) auditors and they stated how much progress we have made and your group, the Clerk and Treasurer offices have done that. I was totally proud and august.”
Commissioner Sue Jones said, “Mr. Chairman, I just want to publicly thank Patty for all she’s done from Day One bringing the office into the 21st century. It’s been an honor and a privilege to know you and keep in touch. We don’t like it, but I totally understand and appreciate (it). It takes a lot of courage (resign).”
“I just wanted to say publicly, my heartfelt congratulations Patty," said Commissioner Travis Moore. "You have done so many things, that long of service. I am very proud to have served with you in the limited time I have been on this board.”
Clerk Gwynn Bartlett said that Bentsen "has really brought the office a long way.”
Commissioner Byron Barkhurst said, “I have always appreciated your willingness to serve and helpfulness even when she was busy," describing how Bentsen took a call from him on an unrelated topic during the recent state audit.
Commissioner John Espy said that it was "a pleasure to work with Patty. I have appreciated how you have worked with me as a commissioner and had an open door to your office, so I could come and ask questions and be apprised of what is going on. The transparency you have brought to that office along with bringing it into the 21st century, it is appreciated by a lot of us in this county, so thank you.”