Two long-time county officials have announced their plans to retire at the end of the month.
Auglaize County Clerk of Courts Sue Ellen Kohler said it was with mixed emotions that she submitted her letter of resignation, with plans to retire on July 31.
Also submitting a letter of resignation with retirement planned for the same day was Auglaize County Recorder Ann Billings.
“We were surprised by both of their resignations,” Auglaize County Commissioner John Bergman said. “We respect their years of service and dedication to Auglaize County citizens. We realize it was a monumental decision to make on their part.”
Commissioners thanked the women for the job they did and the progressive changes they made in their respective offices. They wished both well in their retirements.
Kohler thanked the Auglaize County commissioners for their continued interest in the office under her direction, their help with budget matters, and during the recent move to the temporary location in the Auglaize County Administration Building.
“It’s been my pleasure to serve the citizens of Auglaize County as the clerk of courts for the past 22 1/2 years plus 9 1/2 years as deputy clerk under Wanda Kogge,” Kohler said. “These past 32 years have been full of challenges that I feel I have handled well with the support of my staff, the judges and the commissioners.”
A long time ago, Kohler said she was talking to friends about retirement. She wasn’t ready then, but they advised her that someday it would happen and she would just know.
That day came after extensive packing and a move to a temporary location in the Auglaize County Administration Building while the courthouse is remodeled.
“I was sitting in my new office and all around me it was business as usual,” Kohler said.
“It was then I knew,” she said. “I am so proud of my staff and the great job they’ve done.”
Kohler said she’s already looking forward to traveling with her husband, Ron, and enjoying their grandchildren more after her retirement.
She’s also anticipating more reading, more walks, time to volunteer and even join friends for weekly games and get-togethers.
“It sounds fun and I never had time before,” Kohler said. “It will be a totally different lifestyle.”
Of course she said there also will be the aspects of her job that she will miss, specifically the 17 people who work for her and those who have retired before her.
“I’ve been fortunate,” Kohler said. “Thirty-two years is a long time to work with people.”
She said she owed her career to Wanda Kogge, the former county clerk, who gave her a chance, for which she’s always been very appreciative.
Jean Meckstroh, a long-time employee of her office with more than 30 years of experience, has been recommended to serve in the position in the interim until a replacement can be named by the Auglaize County Republican Central Committee to fulfill the term, which is scheduled to end in January 2013.
Billings told the Wapakoneta Daily News that it is the people she will miss most when she leaves her job.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time not only as recorder, but also the 17 years I was an employee of the office,” said Billings, who has served 14 years as recorder for the county. “It’s been a pleasure serving the residents of Auglaize County.”
She also thanked the commissioners for their support through the years.
“After 32 years, I just decided it was time,” Billings said of her decision to retire.
Billings, of Waynesfield, said she has no specific plans but would like to travel out West with her husband of 30 years, Tim.
She has asked the commissioners to appoint her Deputy Clerk Chris Lambert, who has 29 years experience to serve in the interim until the Auglaize County Republican Central Committee can appoint someone to finish her term, which is scheduled to end in January 2013.