Pictured is Mayor’s secretary, Michelle Bormet, who is retiring Aug. 29 after serving 23 years. Photo by Jennifer Peryam, Times-Union
Pictured is Mayor’s secretary, Michelle Bormet, who is retiring Aug. 29 after serving 23 years. Photo by Jennifer Peryam, Times-Union

Michelle Bormet will retire this month after serving as the secretary for three Warsaw mayors over the past 23 years.
Bormet’s last day is Aug. 29, and a reception will be from 1 to 3 p.m. in the city council chambers.
“Not everyone can say they like their job, but I have enjoyed my time working in the mayor’s office,” Bormet said. “City employees gain an in-depth perspective about the facets of city government and what is involved for the day-to-day operations of a municipality. I wish I had kept a log with brief notes about some of the funny, one-of-a-kind and unbelievable phone calls I’ve received over the years.”
Bormet said most recent was a phone call from a man who saw the Seward Johnson statue on the north side of the courthouse of the man and woman embracing. He said it reminded him of a 1950s song, and then he sang a few verses to Bormet on the phone.
She first started her duties as a secretary for former Mayor Jeff Plank in August 1991. She also served under former Mayor Ernie Wiggins and current Mayor Joe Thallemer.
If she had not decided to retire this year, she said she would have retired next year. Her husband, Jeff, is 1-1/2 years away from his retirement.
“The reason I decided to retire this year is because of the current incentive with the Public Employees Retirement Fund. PERF will change the way they invest employee pension funds, and if an employee is qualified to retire by Oct. 1, they can lock in the current higher interest rate,” Bormet said.
She and her husband attended the 1982 World’s Fair in Knoxville, Tenn., and also spent a few days in the Smoky Mountains.  
“We absolutely loved that area and have already built a house in Eastern Tennessee near Pigeon Forge,” Bormet said. They plan to retire to Tennessee within the next year.
Bormet said one of her greatest accomplishments as the mayor’s secretary is authoring “A History Of The City Of Warsaw,” a book that was published in 2001. The book provides history exclusively about Warsaw.
“This book is for the citizens of this community. I have always lived in Marshall County but worked in Kosciusko County, and the only reason this took place was because I searched for information about the mayors to put on the city website when I first built it,” Bormet said.
She started learning more about local businesses and accumulated pictures and information, so she published the book to preserve the valuable history.
While in the mayor’s office, she first transcribed interview statements for Warsaw Police Department detectives and the city fire inspector for seven years.
She also created the city’s first website, launched in 1999, and has since overseen a number of major updates and revisions.
She also served as recording secretary for many years on the City-County Athletic Complex and Beaman Home boards, and was the city’s representative on the Kosciusko Convention & Visitor’s Bureau board for two terms.
In 2003, she coordinated a contest to select a city logo and helped spearhead the 2004 sesquicentennial committee when the city marked its 150th anniversary.
Bormet worked with Bill Holder, Kosciusko County GIS coordinator, on a project to establish a database of burials in all cemeteries located in Kosciusko County. She entered information in the database for over 14,000 burials at Warsaw’s Oakwood Cemetery.
She also assisted with the WPD Victim Services program for five years and its annual 5K walk and run, and most recently co-chaired this year’s Walk-n-Wander Warsaw exhibit of Seward Johnson sculptures that are located in the downtown.
Bormet said times have certainly changed over the past two decades. The only office equipment in the mayor’s office in 1991 was a typewriter.
A computer was purchased shortly thereafter, but meetings and appointments were manually written in a spiral-bound calendar book. City departments communicated by landline phones and two-way radios. Plank could be heard calling her on the two-way radio, “400 to 101, any messages?”
Cell phones and e-mail emerged during Wiggins’ tenure, she said, making it easier to stay in touch.
“E-mail has helped improve our workday’s efficiency, particularly by replacing the need to make numerous phone calls to schedule a meeting with multiple people, and then often having to leave a message and wait for return calls from everyone,” Bormet said.
She said today the city’s website provides a wealth of information regarding city departments and more.
“I’m able to stay in contact with Mayor Thallemer via cell phone, text and email, and his appointments are kept on a computer program that’s accessed off-site via iCloud,” Bormet said.