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A County Clerk Says Goodbye

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Update: 7/31/2013 6:30 P.M.

Jamie Six has spent much of the last couple of weeks getting new County Clerk Mark Rhodes oriented with elections. That's just about the one part of the office Rhodes has worked with the least.

"The remainder of the office I work with on a daily basis," Rhodes says. "From document recording to probate to the records division of finance, I'm pretty much up to speed on all of that."

Indeed, of the 16 employees of the county clerk's office, only two are directly involved with its most well-known function, preparing for and conducting elections.

"There's 14 other people doing things other than elections," Six notes. "That's the day-in-day-out work the public doesn't see, unless they need a deed or a copy of a lien. There's a lot in the clerk's office besides elections."

Rhodes, who plans to run for a full term as clerk in 2014, says elections, or not, the next 18 months will be a busy time for his new office.

"There's still a lot of poll workers and the precincts that have to be contacted. So we expect to keep working and keep everything running."

Six spent his last day sporting a tie which hints at his immediate future. He says he doesn't plan to run for another office...but he won't rule it out, either.

Six received two honors on Tuesday, hiss next-to-last day in office: a distingushed West Virginian honor from Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, and a cannon salute from Carlin's Battery, from atop Fort Boreman Hill.
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Update: 7/15/2013 11:45 A.M.

The new Wood County Clerk will be the current Deputy Clerk, Mark Rhodes.

Rhodes was also the reccommendation of his current boss, County Clerk Jamie Six, who is retiring at the end of this month.

On Friday, the commissioners interviewed both Rhodes and Paul Miller, who had also applied for the office.

Rhodes says one of his first responsibilities will be working to improved access for the handicapped at some of the county's polling places.

" The precinct consolidation has already been approved by the commission; we just have to send out notifications. We still have seven precincts that are not handicapped accessible, so we want to work on those and get those taken care of."

Rhodes has been with the clerk's office for several years, but he first came to county government nearly 30 years ago, as the chief deputy for then-Wood County sheriff Steve Greiner.

Had the Wood County Commission not made an appointment prior to Six's departure, it would have been up to the Wood County Democratic Executive Committee to do so...since Six is a Democrat.

Update: 7/12/2013 1:35 P.M.

On Monday, July 15, the county commission will decide who will be Wood County's next clerk.

Friday, the two candidates for the office answered questions from the commissioners.

Mark Rhodes discussed his seven years serving as second-in-command to outgoing clerk Jamie Six.

The other candidate, Paul Miller, says while he's an outsider, he can bring new ideas to the office, which handles elections and record-keeping for the county.

"Ideally, to make consumers understand and respect the value the county provides for their tax dollars and their fees," Miller said.

"Everything is above board," Rhodes said about the operation of the clerk's office. "The integrity of the office, we have personnel who have very good office training. I want to ensure that it stays that way."

Six, who retires at the end of this month, has stated he wants Rhodes to be his successor.

The commissioners, however, said they wanted an open hiring process.

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UPDATE: 5/31/13 11:08 PM

He first ran for office in 1986 and won by just 48 votes. Now after more than 26 years, Wood County Clerk Jamie Six has decided to retire.

Six says he wants to spend more time with his family, but he won't be leaving Wood County. He says you'll still see him around, most likely working on his golf swing.

During his tenure Six focused on making customer service a priority; something he says government isn't always known for. He says he's proud of the way his office treats people, and the employees that go above and beyond.

The role of county clerk has changed throughout his time in office. He says the biggest is now being fully in charge of elections.

Six and his family have been talking about his retirement for some time.

"I've served longer than any other clerk since it was Virginia. So 26 years and 7 months has been a long time at this desk and I can't thank the people that I work with enough, the poll workers, my employees here, I'm so proud of everyone I've come in contact with. It's been a great, great time serving the citizens of Wood County," says Jamie Six.

His retirement takes effect July 31st.

The County Commission will appoint Six's replacement. The appointee will serve until next year's election. That winner will serve the remaining two years of his six year term.
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Wood County Clerk, Jamie Six, announces he will be retiring this summer.

The retirement comes after more than 26 years of service.

It is effective July 31, 2013.

A WTAP reporter is meeting with Six and for more on his retirement, stay tuned to our Web channel and WTAP News.


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