Howland Township recently said goodbye to a native daughter, as lifetime resident Pat Fisher moved to Pennsylvania to be closer to her family.
Born and raised in Howland, Fisher remarked that the biggest change she had seen in Howland during her lifetime was the growth from a small town into an urban venue.
The lasting legacy Fisher leaves behind from her time in Howland was the work she put in as a member of the Trumbull County Board of Elections. For more than 20 years, Fisher worked in various capacities at the Board of Elections. She volunteered for years to work on election day but never considered a career there.
Howland Community News / David Roberts
Howland resident Pat Fisher is moving to Pennsylvania to be closer to her family after a long career within the community.
"Howland had a bicentennial, and they wanted a flag design so they had people in different organizations on the committee, and we have twins so I represented the Mother Twins Club," Fisher said. "A Board of Elections trustee at the time was on the committee as well and afterwards they asked me, 'Hey Fisher, you interested in a job?'"
She soon started working as a clerk at the board office in August of 1978, where she held that position for five years working on the first floor. She then spent 15 years as deputy director. Fisher served as director for the last six years of her tenure.
Shortly after retiring in 1998, Fisher made a return to the board as a secretary for the Republican Party and stayed another 11 years before retiring for good.
She prided herself in having good relationships with everybody in the office, regardless of political affiliation. She mentioned a saying they held in the office, "When you walk in that door you take your political hat off."
Kelly Pallante, current Director at the Board, said she learned a lot from Fisher from the time she joined the Board as a clerk.
"I learned a lot about how to act and behave in the office. She brought fairness and accuracy to the election process," Pallante said.
During her tenure, Fisher oversaw big issues, such as the National Voter's Registration Act in 1993 which, according to Fisher, was a pretty big project. What may be her lasting legacy, as many from the board can attest, was her reorganization of the various election issues into a notebook so anyone can easily access them. She also helped when the county made the transition from paper to electronic ballets.
"Moving the ballots to computers was also quite a chore," Fisher said.
Jodi F. Dibble, current Deputy Director at the Board, said Fisher knew the do's and don'ts of elections and was very vigilant in making sure elections ran smoothly. Her ability to keep things fair and accurate was not just recognized by her coworkers but Ohio's Secretary of State who personally called out Trumbull County Board of Elections as efficient.
Not too long ago, Pat was honored by the Trumbull County Republicans as Trumbull County Republican Woman of the Year, just one more way to show the impact she made for Trumbull County. She was not just an active member in county politics as she also contributed to piecing together Howland's history.
"She has spoken with Warner Taiclet [head of the Howland Historical Society] on several occasions to discuss the history of the township," said her husband, James Fisher.
"I can tell you one thing I don't miss and that's election night," she said.