After nearly a decade in office, Pawhuska City Clerk Barbara Smith retired Wednesday, July 31.

Co-workers threw a surprise party for her, and Tonya Bright was anticipated to take over Thursday as the new city clerk. Dave Neely, former assessor of Nowata County, was scheduled to become the new Pawhuska city manager Thursday.

Smith, who became city clerk in May 2010, said she will have more time to care for her elderly mother, and to participate in ministry and missions activities at church.

“And I have an interest in learning to bake bread,” Smith said. She explained that she would like to sell some bread to be able to afford to make more, but she would also like to give some away.

“No, I’m going to try all kinds and see where it leads,” Smith said, when asked if there was a particular kind of bread she wanted to bake. “We’ll see how this works out. Even if it’s only for my own pleasure, that is great.”

Smith said she also looks forward to domestic activities such as gardening and cultivating flowers. She said she expects Bright will do a great job in the clerk position.

“She’s very sharp, very quick,” Smith said.

Bright worked for a portion of July as interim city manager, until Neely could come aboard. Bright previously worked for a number of years as administrative assistant to the city manager.