EDMOND — City Clerk Nancy Nichols dreamed about her retirement. For months, she counted down the days, hours and minutes on an app on her iPhone.
One thing she didn't imagine was that she would show up at her retirement party with a splint on her left leg.
Nichols made the best of it by decorating her splint with Christmas lights, garland and ornaments.
She was in good spirits as she sat on a tapestry-covered stool with her leg propped on a fashionable stool while she talked to co-workers, friends and family.
Nichols, who leaves the city of Edmond after 28 years, slipped at a pool and injured her knee Nov. 27 while treating herself to a 10-day retirement vacation in the Florida Keys.
She said she went to the hospital in an ambulance and returned to the resort in a cab wearing only her bathing suit. The next day, she flew home to have surgery and needed three screws and wires to make the repairs.
“It's not getting me down,” Nichols said with a laugh.
She has been city clerk since 1994. Nichols also took on the duties of director of government relations the following year and has been a lobbyist for the city ever since.
Nichols first worked as a temporary employee for the city after the oil bust in the 1980s.
“I am totally overwhelmed,” Nichols said after Mayor Charles Lamb read a citation from members of the Oklahoma House of Representatives. “When I took the job as a Kelly Girl in 1984 for three weeks, I never ever believed I would have a 28-year career here.”
The mayor said he worked with Nichols for 20 of her 28 years with the city.
Lamb credited her for leading the city's fight to get Congress to forgive a $10 million debt the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers claimed Edmond owed on water payments at Arcadia Lake.
“Nancy Nichols is professional, flexible and adaptable,” Lamb said.
Nichols has contracted to continue lobbying for the city for the next year.