Kay Schwartz says she will miss the people the most as she heads into retirement after working nearly 44 years in the Whitley County Clerk’s Office, which includes having served as the county clerk for nearly 12 years.
“I love to help people. Seeing the people and getting to help people I will miss that,” she noted Monday morning.
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 that if I am not willing to learn the new software and learn 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!”
In addition to her nearly 44 years of full-time service in the county clerk’s office, Schwartz also worked there part-time while she was still in high school for two years.
Schwartz said the thing that she will probably miss the least is that feeling when you can’t help someone or feel like you have let people down.
“We aren’t the ones who set penalties on registrations if they are late. We’re not the ones, who set the tax rates or make the laws for motor vehicles or the recording laws,” Schwartz noted.
“We collect the money and we distribute it to the taxing districts in the state and the places it needs to go, and make sure there is not a penny missing. There are a lot of duties of the county clerk’s office that a lot of people have no idea that we have to do.”
Schwartz has had a number of accomplishments during her tenure as county clerk.
In 2012, she served as president of the Kentucky County Clerk’s Association representing county clerks statewide.
As fate had it, this was also a time when Schwartz’s office had seven elections over a 14-month period, including several special elections, which made for a very long year or so, she recalled.
In 2017, Schwartz was inducted into the Fifth District Lincoln Club Hall of Fame for her efforts to promote Republican politics in southeastern Kentucky.
Schwartz added that she has done her best to represent Whitley County in a manner so that people could be proud of their clerk’s office.
Schwartz will still be around the office for much of December getting accounts closed out or transferred and things of that nature.
After that she has no particular plans, except to enjoy retirement.
“I have babysat from the time I was like 12 years old. I have worked basically my entire life. Before that I hoed corn and worked in the garden. We were raised to work. I will still be busy, but it will be things I want to do,” she added.