Until now, Clark County has only had eight men serve as Clerk of Courts. On November 8, voters not only made change to the individual who will hold that office, but they broke the glass ceiling by electing Melissa Tuttle, a Republican who challenged Ron Vincent, a Democrat who has held the office for 40 years.

We recently talked to Tuttle about her successful campaign and her plan for possible changes once in office in January. Tuttle spoke of her respect for Vincent and the service he has provided to the Clark County community. She noted that unlike other campaigns in the county, her social media page was closely monitored and any disrespectful comments about her opponent were removed. “Negative personal attacks are not acceptable” said Tuttle.

Tuttle noted that she was invited to come to the office and meet with Vincent to make a smooth transition between leaders. She has also been given permission to come in and interview the current staff to learn what it is that they do for the office and to have an opportunity to gather their views on the business they conduct for the people of Clark County. “I respect their contributions” said Tuttle of her desire to include staff when making future changes. “I want to know what we are doing well” she said of her interview process.

One of the things that Tuttle who is an active member of the Bar Association would like to implement during her time in office is to have Clark County mirror other counties in the area in the way of convenience for the people who use the office to obtain records and other documents. She noted that the title offices are using computers and software that are controlled by the State of Ohio. This is consistent across counties. Some of the other procedures in Clark County are different than those in Madison and Greene Counties for example and Tuttle would like to provide consistency. Attorneys who work across various counties would benefit from online access and in house procedures that are the same to allow for more access of records related to case work. Public access to records would also be reviewed by Tuttle to see if software updates may be needed to improve this area as well.

Tuttle stated that she did not run for office because of the salary. She has an active law practice that she will need to reduce as she cannot practice in Common Pleas Court. When asked why she ran for the office, she noted that she saw a need for change and that when you see a need and your desire a need, you should step up and offer yourself to be the change.

Once in office, Tuttle will be a full time Clerk of Courts. She does plan to keep active in her practice with contract law, estate planning and bankruptcy filings by working a few evenings and some weekend hours.

During the conversation about change and her plans, she noted that she has medical professionals in her family. The idea of staying abreast of the latest technology and new treatment procedures is similar to the practice of law and the work of government entities. Tuttle will take her knowledge and experience of the law along with a desire to keep abreast of change to move her staff and practices forward to benefit the residents of Clark County. She will also be working closely with her counterparts in neighboring counties over the next four years to provide consistency.

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