As city clerk since 2009, Carolyn Adams has been on the ground floor of a major growth spurt in the City of London.
She facilitated the establishment of a city tourism commission, which in turn produced two popular city parks, expansion of one and the takeover of another. She collects the taxes that keep the tourism commission and the city afloat. She catalogs and publishes ordinances. Records minutes of city council and tourism meetings. Issues business licenses. Posts bids and other legal notices. Works with state officials and auditors to make sure everything is done right.Adams has been a main cog in the development machine that’s been moving London forward at a fast pace. And she’s loved every minute of it.
“We’ve grown so much and next year is going to boom,” she said. “I have loved my job. I love working with the mayor. I love the people of London.”
Adams speaks of her job in the past tense because she is retiring as clerk at the end of December. The loss of her husband, Harvey, to leukemia in September 2019 and her 90-year-old mother, Pearl Weaver, last February pushed up her retirement plans.
“I want to spend more time with my family, that’s basically the real reason I’m retiring,” she said.
Her family includes daughter Susan Greenwell, son-in-law Mike Greenwell and 11-year-old granddaughter Addison, who live in Versailles. Her son Steven recently moved back to London.
“I also want to travel some and catch up on some projects around the house, nothing major,” she said.
Adams is working on important projects for London right until the last day. The city council plans to finalize annexation of I-75 Exit 29 the last week of December, which will be another growth milestone for the city.
“She’s been a great asset to the city and we were lucky to get her,” London Mayor Troy Rudder said. “She’s been my right-hand person, my go-to person. Someone who I could bounce ideas off of, and she wouldn’t sugar coat it. She’d give me her opinion whether it was good or bad. I appreciated her honesty.”
Adams became city clerk after working for many years as a legal secretary, first for Skip Little of London and later for Robert Brown of Corbin.
“I think my legal background was a plus in helping me get this job,” she said. “I was looking to come back to London to work.”
The city council recognized her valuable contributions to London with a standing ovation at its December 7 meeting.
Even though she’s retiring as clerk, Adams said she will continue working as secretary for the London Planning and Zoning Commission and the Board of Adjustments.
“I’ll be around,” she said.