"If there are any questions, she's the boss," chided Moffat County Commissioner Les Hampton during a party for retiring Cindi Shanahan.
In more than two decades with Moffat County, the secretary to a total of 11 commissioners and one who witnessed four county clerks come and go, it's little surprise that Shanahan informally earned the title of head honcho.
"She's like a history book," said Chief Deputy Clerk Lila Herod. "Everything you want to know, she knows."
Shanahan's longevity with the county and her "photographic" memory have proved her an invaluable asset as elected officials come and go, co-workers said. It's with revere that some county officials long ago dubbed her the "fourth" commissioner.
"If you have a question about an issue, she knows what minutes to look in to find what you're looking for," said Jean Shelton.
Shelton is replacing Shanahan's minute-taking duties at commissioners' public meetings.
Shanahan started with the county in 1980 and soon met her future husband, Dennis, who worked in the Assessor's Office. The couple recently built a home in Lake Havatsu City, Ariz. where they plan to retire.
Shanahan will be most missed for weathering the many trials of county government over the years -- a point that some co-workers recorded for her in a homemade scrapbook poking fun at controversial issues of the day.
County commissioners presented Shanahan with a watch engraved with their gratitude and her years of service.
While commissioners delivered Shanahan a short speech of appreciation, they only half-jokingly asked for her phone number and email address in the case they needed an emergency historical reference on an issue.
"We'll miss you," said Commissioner Marianna Raftopoulos.
"Yes you will," Shanahan replied.
Amy Hatten can be reached at 824-7031 or firstname.lastname@example.org.