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Five Questions with Kathy Storey

Robert Houk • Apr 22, 2019 at 12:55 PM

Kathy Storey is serving her third term as Washington County clerk. The Lamar High School graduate, who earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration at East Tennessee State University in 1973, was first elected to the job in 2010.

Storey worked several years at a local accounting firm before joining the county clerk’s office in 1981. She worked her way up the ranks, eventually becoming the chief deputy under Doyle Cloyd in the mid-1990s.

Fast Facts

Dog or cat: “Definitely a dog person.”

Favorite movie: “The Green Mile.”

Ideal vacation spot: “Garden City Beach, South Carolina, in the fall.”

HOW DO YOU DESCRIBE YOUR DUTIES AT THE WASHINGTON COUNTY COURTHOUSE?

The county clerk and deputies perform a wide variety of functions, which generally include keeping the official records of the county legislative body. The clerk collects certain local and state taxes (such as beer taxes and vehicle registration fees).

The office also issues motor vehicle titles and registrations, marriage licenses and business licenses, and processes applications for beer permits.

I interact with the County Commission as the clerk to that body, performing duties such as calling the roll, recording votes and taking minutes. The county clerk interacts with the county mayor and finance director, as well as the county legislative body regarding the clerk’s budget and budget amendments.

The clerk deals with the trustee regarding the remittance of monthly fees to the general fund and remittance of taxes collected.

HOW HAS TECHNOLOGY CHANGED THE WAY YOU DO YOUR JOB?

Technology has greatly changed the operation of the county clerk’s office. When I came to work in the office in 1981, all of the applications and renewals for motor vehicle were processed on manual typewriters.

All the paperwork for titles and registrations were sent to the state to be processed and titles were issued by the state. The turnaround time for receiving a title from the state was at least a month or more.

We now issue titles in-house at an average of 3,140 a month. The offices in Johnson City and Jonesborough renew 8,165 license plates on average a month.

Customers may renew in person, by mail or online.

Technology has increased the efficiency of the office except when the internet or the state system goes down. That is when you pray for patience and a quick recovery time.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE JOB?

My favorite part of the job is interacting with customers and helping them with various problems that arise. At the end of the day, it is rewarding to know that you have helped solve a problem or just listened to a customer’s concern.

HOW DO YOU COPE WITH STRESS?

I like to listen to contemporary Christian music going to and from work. Music has a way of relieving stress and uplifts my spirit.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE OTHERS LOOKING FOR A CAREER IN COUNTY GOVERNMENT?

I think you have to be people oriented to work in a government service office. We are servants and it helps to have a servant heart. Working with the public has been a fulfilling and rewarding experience.

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