Mark Rhodes reflects on long public service career | News, Sports, Jobs

Wood County Clerk Mark Rhodes will step down from public service on January 1, after a career of more than 38 years in Wood County in a variety of positions. He considers joining the Wood County Historical Society and other groups to pursue his own interests in his retirement. (Photo by Brett Dunlap)

PARKERSBURG — After more than 38 years of service to the people of Wood County, Mark Rose feels it’s time to pursue his interests as he reflects on his career in public service.

Wood County Clerk-Elect Joe Gonzalez will take the oath of office this Thursday and will officially take office on January 1. This causes Rhodes to retire after many years in various county positions.

“It’s time for someone else to take another look at how something should be done,” Rhodes said. “Most of my knowledge about this job came from working and learning[in all the positions he held].”

Rhodes began serving the county in November 1984 as a prison officer at the old Wood County Jail. He became a prison administrator in January 1991 and served there until July 1997. He also helped oversee the implementation of the home confinement system and has seen many people benefit from it.

“I still run into a lot of the people I met then,” he said, laughing at the time he spent with inmates and their families in prison. .

Wood County Clerk Mark Rose is overseeing his final election as county clerk in November. Rhodes will retire this weekend as his newly elected Clerk Joe Gonzales will take over. Also pictured are Angie Graham and Chris Whitaker, who were processing the ballots when they were delivered to the Wood County Courthouse on election night.

After leaving prison, he worked in the county computer room for four years in the early 2000s under Sheriff Steve Greiner as Chief Tax Lieutenant, and in 2005 began working directly at the County Clerk’s Office.

“I’ve been here ever since,” he said, learning a lot from former county clerk Jamie Sixx about serving people in that role.

In August 2013, when Six resigned, he was appointed to the position of clerk. He ran for his 2014 indefinite election. He has served as county clerk for the past six years after being elected to his full term in 2016.

“I’ve met a lot of good people,” Rhodes said. “I took away a lot of my knowledge of running the county.”

He understood the operations of the tax office, county clerk’s office, budgeting, payroll, voter registration, law enforcement, and the prison system just by working in the computer room.

“In the computer room, I handled everything,” he said. “I have a lot of knowledge. It came from around that computer room, learning all the different software that ran the office.

“Coming here and knowing everything made it easier for me to step into this job.”

In early December, Rhodes hired Gonzales as Undersecretary. He was able to spend time in the office, get to know people, meet and interact with other county officials, and learn some processes. He will take office in January.

“Hopefully it will be a smooth transition,” he said.

Rhodes said they could be available to answer questions or help in other ways if needed.

“During the winter, I may enjoy some distraction from time to time,” he said.

Otherwise, Rhodes takes care of his family by doing a few projects for his 8-year-old granddaughter, doing more volunteer work with the Wood County Historical Society, mowing/cleaning the cemetery, etc. I look forward to spending time with you.

He has always been interested in history, especially local history.

“I love reading history and trying to learn from other people’s past mistakes,” he said. “There are things I love about the simpler times and ways of 200 years ago. It’s fun to learn things. Where we are and where we are.”

He has long had an interest in the Phelps Tavenor House on Camden Avenue, home of the Historical Society. He basically read its history as the first court in Wood County, where he was just appointed treasurer of his 4-H Board of Trustees in Wood County.

He believes in 4-H programs and their impact on local youth.

“It’s about helping children. There are a lot of good people in the world, and I want to maintain those relationships.

He said that without the work he usually had to do at home in the evenings, he actually had time to sit down and read a historical book without any distractions. I joked that I might update it eventually.

Given his role as county clerk, Rhodes believes he misses a lot about the job.

“I miss poll workers because there are as many jobs as there are elections,” he said. I told you that I would like to apply for

“I know how hard it is to find enough people to work. I’m able-bodied and I can do it.”

Rhodes spoke with another retiring clerk. “Conspiracy theorist”. He made people believe many things, showed them what the process was, and has allayed many fears. You’ll miss what you can’t do.

He will miss helping people get through probate.

“You’re helping people get through that process,” he said. “I never miss a family feud.”

Real estate can take anywhere from three months to five years or more to settle, depending on everything involved.

“The county clerk’s office is about helping people,” Rhodes said. There is so much to miss. “

Mr. Rhodes believes Mr. Gonzales has a desire not only to serve the public and help people, but also to ensure that things are done right and transparently.

“Every county clerk I know in the state has always been helpful,” he said. “Because it is a rural area, I think there are many such local governments.

“We know the people we’re dealing with.”

He is grateful to those who voted for him and supported him during his tenure.

Rhodes said he wouldn’t rule out running for office again, but would like to focus on other interests for now.

“I learned not to say ‘never,'” he said. “But at the moment, I have a few other things I want to focus on.”

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