As one of his last official duties of 2020, Common Pleas Court Judge Keith Schierloh swore in the county’s elected officials. Pictured above, Clerk of Courts Kim Redman takes her Oath of Office. (Putnam Sentinel/Amanda Ionatta)
As one of his last official duties of 2020, Common Pleas Court Judge Keith Schierloh swore in the county’s elected officials. Pictured above, Clerk of Courts Kim Redman takes her Oath of Office. (Putnam Sentinel/Amanda Ionatta)
PUTNAM COUNTY — In what was a series of some of his last official acts in 2020, Common Pleas Court Judge Keith Schierloh swore in officials elected last November.

For most, it wasn’t a novel experience. The singular majority of those sworn in had been there, done that, before. Commissioners Mike Lammers and Vince Schroeder, Engineer Mike Lenhart, Treasurer Tracy L. Warnecke, Probate/Juvenile Judge Michael Borer, Prosecuting Attorney Gary Lammers, Sheriff Brian Siefker, Coroner Jennifer Maag, and Clerk of Courts Kim Redman were all incumbents when they took their oaths, and assumed their seats on the first of January.

For Lori Rayle, however, it was a different story. Newly seated to her position as County Recorder, Rayle was the only one of the 10 for whom this was a first.

Even so, Rayle, who has worked in the Recorder’s Office for years, remarked that, fundamentally, nothing changed.

“Maybe I should say something big,” Rayle said, laughing, “but, honestly, what was going through my mind is, ‘I’m just glad to get on with it now.’ I’ve felt the weight of the position this whole time.”

Tasked with many of the obligations of the office in her role as deputy recorder, Rayle said she’s anxious to move forward, make some changes designed to ease the process for those who regularly have business in her office.

“I only wanted to be held accountable for what I do when I’m in charge,” Rayle said, proactively addressing why those changes weren’t already in effect. “I didn’t want to make any big decisions, so a lot of things were just kind of let go for a while.”

Rayle remarked a number of those desired changes, those big decisions, were magnified

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in the light of the COVID pandemic.

“We have a lot of things to do, we have a lot of books to backscan,” she said. “And that would have helped with this COVID, if (people) could have searched more stuff online. But, obviously, we weren’t there yet. It makes you more aware of it, you know, how that needs to be. It’s a lot of work.”

And while Rayle was the only official to have never taken an oath of office, it was a first of sorts for Clerk of Courts Kim Redman, as well.

Appointed to the position by the Putnam County Democratic Party in January of 2019 when former Clerk of Courts Teresa Lammers retired mid-term, Redman, then a registered Democrat, assumed the role and was sworn in at that time. This time around, however, she serves as a duly elected Republican, having switched parties early last year.

“I had to live with myself,” Redman said of the switch, one that caused some little consternation in members of the county’s Democratic Party.

With two years in the position under her belt, Redman’s at ease in her office. That level of confidence, though, isn’t entirely self-generated.

“Everybody’s so wonderful up here. I have a great staff, and that obviously helps me every single day,” she said, adding, “I would really like to thank the residents of Putnam County for their votes in 2020. It’s my greatest honor to serve the people of Putnam County as their Clerk of Courts.”