Published: Tuesday, December 05, 2017 @ 2:34 PM
By: Richard Wilson - Staff Writer
During her career directing the clerk of courts office in Greene County, Terri Mazur said she managed the implementation of technologies that led in part to reduced staff, cost savings and better access to public court records.
Mazur, who won six elections during her 21 years in office, has announced she is retiring at the end of the year.
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The 63-year-old said among other perks, she’s looking forward to being known by her married name as the wife of Judge Thomas Rose of the U.S. Federal Court Southern District of Ohio in Dayton. She said she continued to use her maiden name because it was more familiar to the voters.
Mazur said she originally planned to announce her retirement in late 2015 but decided to run for re-election the following year in light of four people in her office with retirement plans.
“For the good of the office, I had worked too hard to have a great, efficient operation. I wasn’t willing to let that go down the tubes,” Mazur said.
Technology has played a major role in everyone’s lives the last two decades, and the county clerk’s office is no different.
When she was first elected to office in 1996, there were 25 full-time employees in the clerk of courts office. There are now 15, resulting in annual savings by Mazur’s estimates of about $500,000. Two branch offices, one in Fairborn and one in Beavercreek, were closed last year.
Mazur said the reductions were possible in part by working closely with the bureau of motor vehicles and upgrading the Automated Title Processing System, which has streamlined processing titles and enabled car dealers to e-file their title applications.
The Greene County Clerk of Courts office processes about 50,000 titles a year.
Mazur said she is proud to have spearheaded the Inmate Collection Program, a process of collecting unpaid court costs and fines from convicted felons, a program now used statewide.
Mazur said the program was an indirect result of the 1993 Lucasville prison riot, after which prisoners, including four Greene County defendants, filed suit against the state and won a settlement. Mazur said she worked with then-Ohio Attorney General Betty Montgomery to track unpaid fees and garnish inmates’ accounts, if they owed the state money.
“As a brand new clerk, I asked, ‘why not do this as matter of procedure?,” she said. “Upon further investigation, anyone who is sent to prison, they receive a monthly stipend … We started setting up these garnishments, and many counties are now using the process and it’s become quite successful.”
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Close friend and colleague Judge Stephen Wolaver of Greene County Common Pleas Court said Mazur was a “strong advocate for the courts” who stayed informed about best practices and was always “very helpful in coming up with ideas.”
“She’s been very active in staying ahead of the game,” Wolaver said. “She’s been an incredibly positive force for our court here … when she takes a position that she thinks is right, she goes for it. You don’t always win battles, but you can hold your head high when you think you’re doing what’s best for your constituents.”
County commissioners and the Republican Party will need to appoint a temporary replacement to serve out the remainder of Mazur’s term. The interim clerk of courts will then be eligible to run for election next year.