GREENVILLE — Darke County Clerk of Courts Cindy Pike has been on the job for 22 years, after first being elected to the position in 1996, and reelected every four years since.
As clerk, Pike’s primary duty is keeper of the record of Common Pleas Court and also overseeing the Title Office.
“Last year, between both offices, I had an $8 million business within the county,” Pike joked. “Here, there,
and everywhere. But most of it goes to sales tax to the State of Ohio.”
“It was easier when the Title Office was across the hall,” she added, noting the office’s current location on Wagner Avenue in Greenville, whereas it had formerly been in the Darke County Courthouse.
“That was one of the things I wanted to do when I was elected,” she said. “I wanted to get the Title Office moved into one-stop shop, with the License Bureau, with the License Exam. They all belong in one building together. And it’s convenient for everyone in the county but me.”
Pike is a Darke County native, growing up in, and graduating from high school, in Ansonia.
“Originally I wanted to be an accountant when I grew up,” she replied when asked what got her started on her career path. She first worked as an officer manager for a private company, then worked in Municipal Court (formerly known as County Court), then as an accountant. She later went to work for a former prosecutor, Lee Fry, and received training as a paralegal.
“I then found out I could combine my love for accounting along with legal work,” she said. “I wanted to do everything from beginning to end instead of that little slice of the pie.”
In 1996, Pike won election to replace former Clerk of Courts, Elsie Stenzel, who retired.
In her position, as it is with the clerks of court in all of Ohio’s 88 counties, Pike files dockets, indexes, and preserves all court pleadings for civil, felony criminal and domestic relations cases. As well, she is responsible to issue writs to carry out court orders, including summons, subpoenas, warrants to arrest and convey, and signing death warrants in capital cases.
In addition to keeping court and title records, her office handles divorces, dissolutions, larger civil cases, felony cases, passport applications, and state tax liens.
To help fulfill these duties, Pike oversees a staff of three full-time employees at the Clerk’s Office, one employee overseeing the microfilm office, and four full-time employees at the Title Office. When she was elected to the office, there were five full-time and one part-time employee in the Clerk’s Office.
While 1996 may not seem that long ago for many of us, how government record-keeping offices are managed has changed in that 22 years, specifically as it relates to technology.
“Technology just keeps changing all the time, and seeing the changes. When I worked upstairs all we had was the big books to work in,” Pike said. “The office just computerized months before I got here.”
“The technology streamlined things. It’s been a great advantage, because without it I couldn’t do the job that I do now, especially the bookkeeping end of it,” she added.
Pike said she is happy in her work, and said Darke County enjoys a “unique thing” among its elected officials.
“All elected officials here, regardless of their party, can sit in the same room and not want to kill each other,” she explained. “We all work together for the common good of Darke County residents.”
EDS NOTE: This story is part of an ongoing series titled “Elected Officials” that will address the role of those officials in Darke County.
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