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Assessor tired of juggling work, play



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Independence Township Assessor Beverly Shaver is set to retire, April 21. Photo by Trevor Keiser (click for larger version)
April 13, 2011 - After nine years as Independence Township assessor, Beverly Shaver has decided it's time to join Tom, her husband of 42 years, in the fun of retirement.

"He's been retired for five years and is dying for me to be home," Shaver said. "I want to play bridge, I want to golf, I want to fish and I want to travel,"

She and Tom already have a trip planned to head up north to go mushrooming, after she retires on April 21.

"Mushrooming is a riot," she said. "It's a walk in the woods looking for morel mushrooms and then you go back and you cook them and eat them."

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Shaver said she's only found three mushrooms in the past three years.

"It's all about the fun," she said. "The worst part is I am allergic to mushrooms. I don't even eat them, I'm just there to be out in the woods and to be with friends."

After that, they head to Colorado to see their daughter Tracy and son, Chuck.

"I have four grandchildren," she said. "We're expecting a fifth and for the first time I want to be there when number five comes."

Shaver said her only hesitation in retiring is "breaking up the team" she has established with her staff.

"I absolutely love my job and I love who I work with," she said.

One of her favorite parts of the job is doing special projects.

"The research, digging in, and helping someone," she said. "I love doing this part of my job."

Shaver said she fell into assessing while working as a bookkeeper at a Coney Island and was tired of being "tied to a desk."

"I have way too much energy to sit in one spot for eight hours a day. The secretary for Supervisor Tink Ronk knew I was bored to tears and said 'why don't you be an assessor? There are a couple classes coming up and you could go out in the field and measure houses,'" Shaver said. "When she said 'out in the field,' that was my thing. I want to be out in the field."

After taking the first class, Shaver said she loved it and took the next class on her own. Before she knew it, she was a level II assessor without any experience in an assessing department.

"A job became open in Lake Orion and I took it," she said.

After joining Lake Orion in 1987 and working there for four years, she went on to work for Deerfield, Mayfield, and Mundy, before becoming the Independence Township assessor in 2002.

"I've been part of this community one way or the other for a long time," Shaver said.

She and Tom moved to Independence in 1972 and lived there until they moved to Springfield in 2002.

Prior to assessing, Shaver worked for Clarkston Community Schools, Independence Township Fire Department as one of the first woman volunteer fire fighters, planning commission, and in the building department for three years under Bev McElmeel.

She also was a part of the Clarkston Women's Club, which helped raise money to build the new Independence Township Library, as well as Ski Patrol for nine years at Pine Knob.

"I work hard and I play hard, but I'm tired of juggling them," Shaver said. "Now I just want to play hard."

Trevor graduated with degrees in English and communications from Rochester College. He wrote for his college and LA View newspapers before joining The Clarkston News in May 2007.
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