The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

January 5, 2013

Retired Ashtabula County clerk of courts honored

Carol Mead worked in office for 41 years

JEFFERSON — The Ashtabula County Fair provided the venue for Carol Mead to find her career, but it wasn’t in agriculture.

Mead, who retired last week as the county’s clerk of courts, was working for the Jefferson Local Schools Board of Education when Robert Hillyer, who was clerk of courts, saw her at the fair and told her to “come into my office, I might have a job for you.”

That was 42 years ago. Hillyer hired Mead for a filing clerk position; Doris Campbell, deputy clerk, trained her.

“She was a fast learner,” said Campbell, who retired 32 years ago. “She became the chief deputy when I retired.”

Campbell was among the dozens of well-wishers who came to Mead’s retirement party at the courthouse Friday afternoon. After 41 years of service to the office, including 21 as the elected official, Mead retired as of Dec. 28.

Mead encouraged her deputy clerk, Tami Pentek, to run for the office. Pentek won and seamlessly took over the reins upon Mead’s retirement. Mead hired Pentek in 1995.

“She’s been my mentor,” Pentek said of Mead. “My mentor and my best friend.”

Mead served under three clerks of courts — Hillyer, Peter Belding and Ed Meaney. It was Meaney who encouraged her to run for the office. She ran opposed on her first and third attempts and had three runs unopposed.

She used the retirement party as an occasion to reminisce about the many changes that occurred in the office during her four decades there. In 1991, the newly elected Mead replaced the hand- and type-written docket sheets with a computerized system that created a consolidated base accessible by the common pleas courts and lower Eastern and Western County courts. That technology gave way to Court View, which allows public access to the docket online.

On the auto title side of her office, Mead recalls a time when vehicle titles had to be manually “typed up.” She partnered with the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles to implement a computerized auto titling system.

“Today, the citizens of Ashtabula County and all of the car dealers enjoy a very modern and efficient title department that is open on Saturday mornings,” Mead said.

The title department processes about 40,000 title-related documents annually.

Mead also relocated the auto title department from a small office in the courthouse to a one-stop shop at the corner of Walnut and North Chestnut streets.

She said storage space has always been an issue for the department. After relocating the title department out of the courthouse, Mead used that space for a space-saving electric file-storage system.

The legal side of her office processes hundreds of documents a day. Mead said that both criminal and civil cases, as well as liens, court of appeals and grand jury documents flow through her office.

Mead said she will miss the opportunity to help people, which is, in Mead’s opinion, the most rewarding part of the clerk’s job. She has fond memories of the people who have worked in the office over the years; many of those stopped by Friday to wish her well.

Her plans include spending time with nieces and nephews who live in Minnesota and Washington, D.C. Mead said she plans to stay active in the Ohio Clerk of Courts Association, her church, the Finnish American Heritage Association and the Democratic Party.

1
Text Only
Local News
Ashtabula County Alive
July 4 Celebrations 2014
Summer off to Big Start
Ashtabula County Flag Day 2014
Northeast Ohio Soap Box Derby 2014
Tour de State Line and Boating Season
Ashtabula County Memorial Day 2014
Sam Magill Sr. Memorial
Armed Forces Echo Taps 2014
Lakeside Loop Color Run
Keeping Ashtabula County Clean and Healthy
Canoe Race and Ashtabula Easter Events
The Taping of the Teacher: A sticky Sitation
18th Annual Polar Bear Plunge at Geneva State Park
House Ads
AP Video
NDN Video
'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years