Prothonotary not seeking re-election
SUNBURY - Kathleen Wolfe-Strausser, Northumberland County prothonotary and clerk of courts, announced Wednesday she will not seek re-election this year.
In a prepared statement announcing her plans to retire at the conclusion this year of her term, Wolfe-Strausser referred to "challenges and setbacks" that she and her office staff have faced because of cuts mandated by the county salary board.
"While other departments within the county had their staffs increased, my staff was constantly cut," she said. Wolfe-Strausser, noting she was told in 2012 to lay off another employee, said the office is "reaching a nearly impossible workload" after four years of staff cuts, according to the statement.
Wolfe-Strausser joined the office staff in 1991, serving for 15 years as chief deputy. She succeeded to the position of prothonotary and clerk of courts in 2006 upon the death of her friend, Suzanne Vastine-Smith, who served in the job for more than 20 years.
Wolfe-Strausser won election in 2007 to complete the remaining two years of Vastine-Smith's term, and she was then re-elected in 2009 to a full four-year term.
Wolfe-Strausser, a Republican, said she is proud of what she and her staff accomplished during her tenure.
"In 2008, at no cost to taxpayers, I purchased a new computer system, a new court-related computer program, new printers and a scanning system for my offices," she said. "In 2012, at no cost to the taxpayers, I purchased personal desk scanners. My employees can scan records into the computer system right from their desks. At the end of 2012, at no cost to the taxpayers, I purchased an automated filling system. This will eliminate the boxes that have been on the counters and floors since before I ever took office."
Wolfe-Strausser described the people who work in the prothonotary and clerk of courts office as "the hardest-working and most devoted employees of any office." The office receives and dockets all papers filed to civil cases, criminal cases, juvenile cases, child dependency cases, mental health and adult abuses.
"I very much appreciate having had the opportunity to serve Northumberland County for 22 years. I wouldn't trade my experiences," she concluded.
In addition to prothonotary and clerk of courts, other county elected positions on the ballot this year are controller, register and recorder and coroner.