Home » City News » City Clerk Clark honored with retirement party City Clerk Clark honored with retirement party

Family, friends and colleagues all honored Clarksdale City Clerk Cathy Clark’s 34 years of service during her retirement party at the fire station on Friday afternoon.
Former City Clerk Sylvia Burton hired Clark in 1988.
Clark worked her way up the ranks of the office until becoming City Clerk in 2001 after Burton’s retirement.
Clark’s sisters from her home state of Texas surprised her by coming in for the party. Former employees of Clark’s, the Board of Mayor and Commissioners, city department heads and others who have worked with Clark all attended the party.
The local Sonic donated food for the party.
“I want to thank everybody for coming,” Clark said. “I surely appreciate it. All of you are wonderful friends and family. It has meant so much.”
Clark talked about her family throughout Mississippi and in Texas.
“I have my family here in Clarksdale, Miss., and it has meant so much to me,” he said.
“I’ll always have my family. I’ll always have my friends that I can count on.”
As Clark was cleaning out her desk, she said she found 34 years of calendars, noting cell phones were not commonly used when she began working for the city.
“I remember starting on a typewriter,” she said. “We typed minutes on typewriters. I eventually got a computer.”
Even though nearly everyone has a computer now, Clark said she kept her typewriter.
“I appreciate everybody coming,” she said. “I appreciate all the kind words. I’m not going anywhere. I’m still going to be here. My grandkids are what it’s going to be all about.”
Clark worked under former Mayors John Mayo, Henry Espy, the late Richard Webster, the late Bill Luckett and current Mayor Chuck Espy.
Clark became the City Clerk on the same day Henry Espy took office as mayor for the second time. Henry Espy was the mayor from 1989 to 1997 and 2001 to 2013.
“When I first came in, the first person that I saw was Cathy and Sylvia,” said Henry Espy reflecting on when he became mayor in 1989.
Henry Espy said he told Burton and Clark how things would go.
“They told me, ‘You don’t know nothing,’” said Henry Espy as the room broke out with laughter. “They said, ‘But, if you listen to us, you will be the best mayor this city has ever had.’”
Henry Espy said Burton and Clark taught him about the budget and things he never thought about.
“Love the person that got the money,” said Henry Espy jokingly as he concluded his remarks.
Chuck Espy, who is the son of Henry Espy, was a child when Clark first went to work for the City of Clarksdale.
“As a kid growing up in the City of Clarksdale with my dad as mayor, I literally watched Cathy Clark grow up under Sylvia Burton,” Chuck Espy said.
“The thing that I understand very clearly that I absolutely see without a doubt, when you have the spirit of a sermon, when you can see the sincerity of someone’s eyes and their action and what they believe, that is very difficult to find in a person on this planet. Very difficult, but Cathy has not only demonstrated an ability to have a heart of gold, but she led this city for so long as the most outstanding clerk that we could ever have.”
Ward 4 Commissioner Ed Seals took office in 1989, less than one year after Clark went to work for the City of Clarksdale.
“From the beginning to the end, we have been together,” Seals said.
Seals said Clark was one of the most efficient City Clerks around.
“She is one of the top clerks throughout the State of Mississippi,” said Seals as the room applauded.
Ward 2 Commissioner Ken Murphey expressed sentiments similar to what he said at the second city meeting in March.
Murphey, a commissioner for 10 years, said he started attending meetings 12 years ago. He said he talked down to everyone before becoming a commissioner.
After deciding to run and taking office, Murphey said things did not operate the way he thought they did.
Murphey said Clark is one of his best friends and taught him how things do work.
“It’s been a real honor,” Murphey said.
Murphey repeated a story he mentioned at the last March meeting.
Clark told Murphey her family bought a goat.
“I made the comment, I said, well that house already has a GOAT and she said what?” Murphey said.
“I said, Cathy, it’s the greatest of all time. Cathy Clark has been the greatest of all time.”
Ward 1 Commissioner Bo Plunk said everyone calls Clark “Momma Bear” and talked about the impact she has had on the city.
“Chuck might be the mayor, but this lady runs the city,” Plunk said.
“You’re going to be missed.”
Ward 3 Commissioner Willie Turner said he began working for the Clarksdale Fire Department 23 years ago and Clark talked about tightening the budget.
“It was only when I made it to the other side as a commissioner to see how important it was to get to those numbers and she had it down to a science,” Turner said.
The city and fire department each presented Clark with plaques. Speakers included Coahoma County Sheriff Charles Jones, County Tax Assessor Ann Williams, County Circuit Clerk Demetria Jackson, David Huggins, who writes insurance for the city, Police Chief Robbie Linley, Fire Chief Rocky Nabors, City Attorney Melvin Miller, Acting City Clerk Laketha Covington and former City Attorney Curtis Boschert.
“I appreciated all the time we spent together and worked together,” Boschert said.
Boschert, who is the current Clarksdale Public Utilities General Manager, said he spent many hours with Clark and Henry Espy.
“I love you and I’m glad you’ve got the opportunity to retire,” said Boschert to Clark.

Mayor Chuck Espy presents City Clerk Cathy Clark with an award recognizing her 34 years of service to the City of Clarksdale.