Two Presque Isle County women, both with bookkeeping experience and lifelong ties to the area, are running to become the county clerk.
Ann Marie Main of Millersburg, and Rogers City resident Carleen Paul are seeking the position that Sue Rhode currently holds. She's retiring at the end of the year, and both candidates hope to meet the high standard she set during her time in office.
Rhode's announcement spurred Paul to run for office, she said. She hopes to draw on seven years experience as the chief financial officer for the United Steel Workers, where she was in charge of cash receipts, expenditures. The job also involved financial reporting, both to the government and the Steelworkers' international organization.
"A lot of work that the county clerk does is ledgers and financial stuff, along with the treasurer," she said, adding that in her time as CFO, the union's financial books were audited very three months.
"There were never any discrepancies found, and it's that detail to accuracy I would bring to the county clerk's office."
Main has been a county employee for more than 18 years, including seven in the clerk's office, she said. As a firefighter and emergency medical technician, she'd like to continue serving the public.
"The natural step for me is to keep moving up the ladder and moving forward," she said.
Main would like to continue training efforts for office staff if elected, she said. The county has new software for elections, bookkeeping and vital records, and she'd like to find ways to send employees to training classes. She's spoken with companies that might come to Rogers City to train county employees, both locally and from the surrounding area, to save on travel expenses.
"My thoughts were to assess the strengths and weaknesses in our office, and see where we can improve services, without expenditures going out," she said.
In 2011, Paul's time with the United Steelworkers ended when she was forced to retire due to budget cuts, she said. Prior to working for the union, she worked at the United Auto Workers Education Center north of Onaway for many years, doing a little bit of everything; Paul served as a housekeeper, in food service, as a houseperson driver and was trained to work at the front desk as well.
Most recently, Paul has worked as the night custodian at the county building, she said. While between jobs, she earned a gold certificate from the ACT Career Readiness Program, a test used to quantify a worker's job skills. It focused on her math abilities, reading comprehension and information sorting.
Main grew up in Posen, and Paul was born and raised in Rogers City. Both have spent their lives in the area.
Prior to joining the clerk's office, where she works as deputy clerk and deputy court clerk, Main was a 911 dispatcher and corrections officer for the Presque Isle Sheriff Department, she said. She's on the Case Township Fire Department and works for Allied EMS Services as an EMT.
During her time with the sheriff's office, Main earned her associate degree from Alpena Community College in criminal justice, and went on to get her bachelor's degree in administration from Lake State Superior College, she said.
Ultimately, Paul hopes to get the chance to show the same level of commitment and attention to detail Rhode has brought to the office, she said.
"Sue is very diligent, very accurate with what she does," she said. "Actually, she works most of the time till 11 at night doing things. She's very dedicated to the job."
Main said she'd bring "hardworking, honest experience" if elected, as well as "self-motivation to do the best for the people of Presque Isle."
Jordan Travis can be reached via email at email@example.com or by phone at 358-5688.