FARMINGTON — Sandra Collins said Tuesday that she will miss the people at the Franklin County Detention Center but not the stress of being its top administrator for the past 10 years.
On Tuesday, commissioners hired her assistant, Douglas “Doug” Blauvelt, to manage the 72-hour holding facility, which came under the oversight of the State Department of Corrections on July 1.
Collins and Blauvelt were among five people who applied for the job.
“I wasn’t disappointed,” Collins said about not getting the job. “I think it is time for a change. I think Doug will do an excellent, excellent job. He has been wonderful as my assistant. He’s very dependable, reliable and he wants everything done and he wants everything done right. I believe he’s the man for the job.”
Collins, of Strong, started with the county 24 years ago, first as a classification officer and file clerk at the jail and a floating secretary at the offices at the courthouse. She became full-time classifications officer and file clerk at the jail in 1987 and developed programs for inmates and enhanced what was there.
She became jail Administrator Richard Caton Jr.’s assistant on Jan. 1, 1997, and two years later Caton recommended her to Sheriff Don Richards to be jail administrator. Commissioners approved.
Collins, who will turn 58 at the end of the week, will stay on through July to help Blauvelt.
“I’m going to rest. I’m going to draw unemployment at the end of July,” she said. “I have in my mind to go into some program at the CareerCenter. I want to get enrolled in a course of business statistics. That’s my weakness. Math.”
She had been pursuing an associate’s degree in business administration in the past and hopes to continue work on that. She will see what the Wilton CareerCenter offers and take some adult education courses to help her.
“I need to start at the beginning and I’m going to take computer courses,” Collins said.
She also helps take care of her parents who are in their mid-70s and live in their own home.
“I’m looking forward to having more time to spend with them and help them out,” she said. “I have grandchildren and I’m looking to spend more time with them.”
She also plans to take better care of herself. She has Lupus, a chronic inflammatory disease that can affect various parts of the body.
Collins said she wonders if her mind will finally get a rest from the constant thoughts of work responsibilities the past 10 years.
“It’s just a very stressful job and it’s not going to get any easier,” Collins said.
“I’m going to miss the people I’ve met and worked with. It’s going to be a definite change. I wonder if my mind will go to sleep.”
Her job required her mind to be continually active even when she wasn’t at the jail. Her sleeping patterns are off and she doesn’t get continual sleep.
“Your mind has to be working and I just don’t know. … Change is a concern. It’s going to be a different way of life for me. I’ve been driven. I push myself. This month I’m focused on here. I need to get my office cleaned out. I need to leave things in good shape for Doug.
“Everybody has been really good to me. I’ve always been blessed with people above me and people that worked for me in the corrections staff. It’s been a real blessing the associations I’ve made over the years.”
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Sandra Collins, former Franklin County jail administrator

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