Apr 23, 2013 - By Eric Blom, Staff WriterFremont County Clerk of District Court Katie Brodie Meredith announced her resignation Tuesday to the Fremont County Commission. She has held the office for 18 years.
The county board unanimously accepted her resignation effective June 30, initiating a replacement process.
Clerk of District Court is an elected position.
Fremont County's other elected officials filled the commission chambers as Meredith took her seat at the county board's table and handed over a letter.
"I don't think it comes as any surprise that I'm tendering my letter of resignation," Meredith said. "I've been here almost 38 years, and it's time."
Meredith started working for county government in the office of Fremont County Treasurer Fred Crofts in 1975. Six years later, she moved to Clerk of District Court Vic Dolenc's office, and in 1983 became the deputy to Clerk of District Court Erna Stephensen.
Stephensen retired in 1994, and Meredith was elected to the office, starting her first term Jan. 1, 1995.
"With more changes being mandated by the Wyoming Supreme Court, I believe the citizens of Fremont County will be better served by a person with the energy to take on those changes," Meredith said in her letter.
"We're going to lose a lot of experience there, we'll miss her," commission chairman Doug Thompson said at the meeting.
Because Meredith is a Republican, the GOP has a role in her replacement, according to state statute. The local Republican party has 20 days to submit three nominees for the Clerk of District Court office.
The county commission then would have 20 more days to select one person from those three to assume the office July 1.That person would fill out the remainder of Meredith's term, which expires Jan. 1, 2015. The office is up or election next year.
Meredith expects deputy clerk of District Court Kristi Green to apply for the elected office and supports her.
"I think she deserves a change to take on the office," Meredith said in an interview. "She'd dedicated; she's efficient."
Green has been the deputy clerk for 20 years and before then worked in the circuit court clerk office.
Meredith is the second county-wide elected official to resign this year after former County Attorney Brian Varn vacated his office Feb. 28. Several others have stepped down in the past 15 years.
After June, Meredith plans to retire.
"I haven't had any free time for the last 38 years," she said in an interview. "I plan to enjoy being at home, golfing and traveling."
Working in the court system is interesting, she said, and she liked working with her staff, attorneys and law enforcement.
Meredith had positive memories of her career in public service.
Her first job interview was composed of only two questions, she said: "Do you smoke, and are you planning to have any more kids?"
She answered "no" to both and was offered her first job in the treasurer's office.
Before taking over as clerk of court, however, she had more experience from working as the deputy clerk for 12 years.
"Erna (Stephensen) had taught me a lot of things," Meredith said. "Her opinion was 'you learn in the office.'"
Stephensen died earlier this month.
Meredith said she was so used to the work, assuming the elected office herself in 1995 did not seem like much of a change. There was one major difference, though.
"I was the one having to make the decisions rather than someone else making them," she said.
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