“Rather than old, I like to think that I am being aged to perfection each day, both as a city employee and as a person,” said the Cleveland, Ga. native who began her College Park tenure under former Mayor T. Owen Smith.
Kinter’s bright smile, pleasant greeting to each person approaching her desk and prompt attention in directing them to the right department for their needs has become a standard for other city employees and elected officials, Longino said.
Although she has had a “handful” of unruly customers in her almost a quarter century as the first city representative those entering city hall meet, Kinter’s quiet but sincere and efficient way she assists customers seems to have a calming effect on everyone.
“The bottom line is I like people and my fellow College Park employees are so nice to me, which makes this a good work environment,” Kinter said as she fielded yet another outside call through her always lite up desk phone.
“If you treat people well and show them that you are sincerely glad to see them and are interested in their reason for coming to city hall, it can go far in helping solve any problem or situation they may have,” she said.
Longino not only views Kinter as an inspiration to all who meet her, he believes she is an “inspiration to seniors across America and a inspiration to life itself.”
“So often, when people get over a certain age, they are seemingly put on the shelf and, so often times, forgotten,” he said. “However, Mary has remained very involved in the business of College Park and in the business of life itself and that involvement keeps her young-spirited and vibrant.”
Although the number of years she has worked is, itself, impressive enough, she is just as proud of one other aspect of her tenure, especially as it relates to her working habits.
“In the 24 years I have been employed at College Park,” Kinter said, “I have been late to work only once and that was by 20 minutes because I had to go back home and turn off a yard sprinkler I had accidently left on.”
She believes it is rude to be late, because, as believes, it puts everyone behind and one should be able to adjust to circumstances, especially where work is concerned, she said.
Kinter knows that, to some, she may be old in calendar years “but to me, you are only as old as you feel and one thing I do not feel is old,” Kinter said.