The village of Cooperstown has hired former Otsego County Deputy Clerk Jenna Utter to replace Teri Barown.

The village’s Board of Trustees unanimously voted to hire Utter at its meeting Monday, Oct. 26.

Barown, 59, retired Friday, Oct. 30, after working for the village for 15 years, more than 10 as the village clerk and since 2015 as the village administrator. She said she retired so she could help take care of her grandchildren because the coronavirus pandemic has made childcare hard for her family.

Utter will start in the clerk position and could be promoted to the administrator position at a later time, according to village officials.

“It’s very exciting,” Utter told The Daily Star in a phone interview Monday, Nov. 2, a week before she will start her new job. “I’m looking forward to this great opportunity.”

An Edmeston native, Utter graduated from Edmeston Central School in 2003 and SUNY Oneonta in 2007. Her husband, Kevin Utter, is also a 2003 ECS graduate and has been working for Otsego County’s Highway Department for about 15 years. They have three children and still live in their hometown.

Utter has experience in social work and as a paralegal. She started with Otsego County by working in the Department of Social Services and became the deputy board clerk in 2014. She left that position last year to work as a paralegal secretary for the county, first in the district attorney’s office and then for Otsego County Attorney Ellen Coccoma. However, her position was eliminated in May as part of the county’s layoffs because of the pandemic and its effects on county revenue.

“It was perfect timing,” she said. “I was very excited when I heard about the job.”

Utter has also been a part-time clerk for the town of Hartwick’s Planning Board for the past three years, she said.

Although she does not officially start work until next week, Utter said she spent several hours last week with Barown.

“We went through all the village business and stuff,” she said, “so it was nice to shadow her.”

Village officials said goodbye to Barown on Sunday, Nov. 1, with a small gathering outside village hall. Cooperstown Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh and former mayor Jeff Katz were among the officials to thank Barown for her service.

Greg Klein, staff writer, can be reached at gklein@thedailystar.com or 607-441-7218.

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