Whitley County’s new interim county clerk is a familiar face.
Whitley County Judge-Executive Pat White Jr. appointed Carolyn Willis, who has worked at the office for nearly 26 years, as the new interim county 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.
“I am definitely going to run. I am looking forward to it,” she said.
Willis admits that she was somewhat surprised when Schwartz announced her retirement.
“It is somewhat bittersweet for me. It is bitter that our clerk is leaving us, but I appreciate her wanting me to be appointed. I am just happy as a lark today,” Willis said Monday.
Willis said that she doesn’t plan to make any big changes to the office.
“The office is run well. We have a good staff here. I just plan on doing the best I can do for the people. I am here for the people. I love my job. I have always loved my job and am going to do the best I can,” Willis added.
Schwartz is endorsing Willis for the job on a fulltime basis.
“I think the best person for the job is Carolyn Willis. She has worked long and hard for this promotion,” Schwartz said. “The best thing that the people of Whitley County can do for me for my 40 plus years of service is to elect Carolyn Willis to take my place. Things will just continue to go as smoothly as they have for the past several years.”
Schwartz said that the county deserves a working clerk, who knows the job so they can make sure their employees are doing things that need to be done.
“There are a lot of very, very important records here. Those records need to be kept accurate and maintained. For someone just to walk in off the street that knows nothing about that kind of record keeping would be dangerous. I pray that they elect Carolyn as Whitley County Clerk,” Schwartz added.