A few changes in the make-up of county government has already taken place with the placement of two new magistrates on the Clinton County Fiscal Court and come January 1, another office change will take place when Shelia Braswell-Booher will officially take over as Clinton County Court Clerk.
Booher was appointed to fill the unexpired term of long-time clerk Jim Elmore, who announced his plans to retire at the end of the year, ending a 23-year career as County Clerk, one that spanned over parts of five elected terms.
Despite the switch, customers in Clinton County and other areas who have business with the clerk’s office will see few changes, only some in personnel, as Booher plans to continue operating the office just as Elmore has for the past two decades plus.
Booher, 49, is current Chief Deputy Clerk and began working at the clerk’s office–along with Elmore’s wife Diane–23 years ago when he first took office. At that time, they were the only three employees in the office when the workload wasn’t like it is today.
Booher said her primary duties as Deputy Clerk were vehicle licensing and transfers; receipt disbursement ledger; doing the quarterly reports; tax reports; input all election materials (voter registration, etc.) into the (state) computer system and being the front line person. She noted that there were days she would have to take reports home to get them done, noting that “the main thing in this office is the satisfaction of the customer.”
The county clerk’s office also records and stores documents such as deeds for land, property, oil and gas leases, real estate mortgages, estate settlements, notary bonds, bail bonds, power of attorney, issuing marriage licences, and fishing and hunting licenses and they now do the delinquent tax collections and delinquent tax sales. In fact, the workload in county clerk’s offices have nearly tripled from a quarter century ago.
Also, an important aspect of the clerk is to keep records of Clinton County Fiscal Court meetings and proceedings dealing with county government in general.
The deputy clerk said that customers of the office shouldn’t expect any changes come 2013, saying things would continue to be run in the manner they have been in the past 23 years. “We try to please all our customers,” said Booher, adding that, “If we don’t know the answer to a situation, we contact Frankfort to get them.”
Booher said that as far as staffing, she would hire the most honest and dependable people, noting that a lot of money goes through the county clerk’s office.
Staffing is small in small county offices and employees have to multi-task and do different jobs, unlike in large county offices where each duty is more streamlined, she added.
Booher said what she loved the most about her job was working with the public. “I love the job and like communicating with people,” she said. She noted she had worked off and on since she was 17 years old, including at a garment factory, one year at Family Home Health (prior to working in the clerk’s office) and other part-time jobs when she was younger.
The incoming clerk held high praise for the retiring clerk, saying Elmore was the best boss she had ever had and she has learned a lot from him (and Diane) over the past years. “I’m not going to try to fill his shoes, because that can’t be done, but I am going to try and do the kind of good job he has done as best I can.”
Booher is the daughter of the late Charlie and Christine Braswell and she has three sisters, all of which formed a gospel singing group several years ago and still sing on occasion as a group. She is a lifelong resident of the Shipley Community of Clinton County and a longtime member of Caney Branch Baptist Church.
Booher stressed that she was thankful to have grown up in a Christian home, saying her father always told her to always be honest, treat others as you would like them to treat you, put God first and everything else would fall into place.
The clerk-to-be, who plans to seek the full term position in 2014, concluded by thanking Judge/Executive Lyle Huff for appointing her to fill out the unexpired term, saying she felt honored to have the privilege to serve. She also thanked everyone in the county offices she works with on a daily basis now, as well as those officials she has worked for in the past.