For the first time in nearly 44 years, Kay Schwartz is not working at the Whitley County Clerk’s Office.
Schwartz, who has worked full-time at the office since Jan. 1, 1975, resigned Saturday, Nov. 30, during a meeting with Whitley County Judge-Executive Pat White Jr.
Schwartz said she decided to retire in large part because there are numerous computer changes coming at the first of next year, such as electronic document recording. In February changes are coming to auto registration software. Electronic notarization is also coming in the near future.
“I don’t want to learn anything else. I’d rather just put that energy into playing with my grand kids and having a good time. I feel like if I am not willing to learn the new software and the changes then I need to leave,” Schwartz said Monday morning.
Schwartz has served as county clerk since Jan. 1, 2007.
“I would like to thank Kay for her many, many years of honorable service to the citizens of Whitley County. Being an elected official requires time, dedication, and a servant’s heart. Kay has demonstrated all of those things over the last 40 years she has served in the Whitley County Clerk’s Office, first as a deputy clerk and then as the elected clerk of Whitley County,” said Whitley County Judge-Executive Pat White Jr.
“We will miss her, but know she looks forward to spending some long overdue time with her children and grandchildren. Congratulations on your retirement Kay!”
White appointed Carolyn Willis, who has worked at the office for nearly 26 years, as the new clerk shortly before noon Monday after her bond was finalized. As a matter of law, all county clerks are bonded, which insures the office in the event of fiscal mismanagement.
“I’m pleased to appoint Carolyn Willis as Kay Schwartz’s successor as Whitley County Clerk. Carolyn was the natural choice to fill the vacancy created with Kay Schwartz’s resignation. She has more than 20 years of experience working in the clerk’s office and will do an exemplary job making sure the office continues to run smoothly this next year until the voters decide who will be clerk in next year’s primary and general elections.”
Currently there are three years remaining on Schwartz’s term in office. Willis will serve as interim clerk until the results of a special election for the office are finalized next year.
Willis plans to run for the position, and Schwartz is endorsing her for the job.
For more coverage, see Wednesday’s edition of the News Journal.