Rural Water - Quarter 4, 2017 - 45
A Day in the
Life of a
Rita Clary, Circuit Rider/Technical Assistant,
Kansas Rural Water Association
What's your favorite thing
about being a Circuit Rider?
What was your first job?
My very first job was as a customer
service representative at a bank in
Atchison, Kan. For my first water-related
job, I was the assistant city clerk for the
city of Troy, KS for 11 years. There, I
helped the water operator with all of the
water-related reports. That's how I met
Kansas Rural Water Association.
What does your typical day
as a Circuit Rider entail?
My day begins by checking email.
I spend many full days working with
systems and helping them with funding
applications for water or wastewater
projects. I attend many board and
council meetings, day and night, to
discuss funding options. I know that
the governing bodies appreciate having
someone who talks at their level and
has firsthand experience in working for a
small community. My goal is to help them
be more informed about the financings
so the boards/councils have a better
understanding how the financing works.
Working with systems. I'm a people
person, and I enjoy helping others. I
really enjoy helping with KRWA's annual
conference. It's a very large event - in
fact, it's something of a production,
with an attendance of 2,300 and 365
exhibits. Everyone at KRWA works
together to make it a huge success.
It's not "KRWA's conference" - it's
What's the most
challenging job you've
ever undertaken as a
A large challenge has been assisting a
newly-formed rural water district with all
aspects of development, including even
helping the district negotiate property
easements. After 13 years, the new
system will be providing water service by
the end of October 2017.
How do you think rural
water systems could
operate more effectively?
themselves as a team. Communication is
not just important with customers; it's also
important for coworkers, management and
the governing body.
What's the best advice
you could give to rural
Attend training and conferences
provided by your state rural water
association. Your association is up-to-date
with all the new rules and regulations.
Along with the technical assistance for
field operations, rural water associations
are uniquely qualified to help water and
What advice would you
give to a young person
who wants to embark on a
Get an education and/or a trade. Make
yourself valuable. Don't be afraid to go
work for that city or the local rural water
district. Have an open mind and be able to
accept change. Don't give up!! ●
The governing body, managers,
administrators and other staff need to see
At a recent event, Rita Clary shows off a prize - cases of
Rita Clary works with Teresa Olson, bookkeeper for
Public Wholesale District No. 27, in reviewing payroll
records for compliance with Davis-Bacon Act.