By COLLEEN MCCARTHY
Since the November general election, Glen Hamilton has been busy making sure he’s ready to take over the Oktibbeha County circuit clerk’s office in January.
“I’ve been going into the office at every opportunity that I have,” he said. “The office staff has been the most hopeful, explaining the various job duties (and) the calendar of events.”
Hamilton said there is a lot to learn before Angie McGinnis leaves office at the end of the month. The circuit clerk has a long list of responsibilities including managing all of the elections, pulling juries for all of the courts in the county, issuing marriage licenses and handling civil and criminal court.
“Along with that comes a tremendous amount of responsibilities, from working with the district attorney’s office, all the judges and their staff, general attorneys and making sure all the records are kept — that they’re in the right file, that they’re there (and) making sure all of the exhibits are secure,” McGinnis said. “It may not sound like a lot, but it is.”
Hamilton spent last week at the Mississippi Judicial College with newly elected circuit and chancery clerks from around the state to learn about all his new responsibilities. The conference included training and presentations from the secretary of state, an auditor and representatives from the state supreme court.
“It was extremely informative, but it’s quite a bit to digest in such a short period of time,” he said. “But it also gave me a chance to ask questions and put it in perspective.”
Hamilton said although he has a lot to learn, he’s looking forward to serving in public office again. After owning his own business for 13 years, he became the marketing director for the Mississippi Commission of Agriculture. He’s also served as a state senator and was chosen by Gov. Haley Barbour to serve as chairman of the Mississippi Parole Board.
“It was an honor to serve in the state Senate and an honor to be chosen to serve by Haley Barbour, but to be elected by the people I’ve known and grown up with here in Oktibbeha County is just a huge honor,” Hamilton said. “I’m excited and looking forward to serving the people in Oktibbeha (and) providing a professional and courteous service.”
Hamilton has big shoes to fill. McGinnis worked as a deputy clerk for a few years before taking office as the circuit court clerk, where she has served for 16 years.
“It’s bittersweet. I love my people and I love what I do, but at the same time I’m looking forward to slowing down a little bit,” McGinnis said. “Not having to be somewhere at 8 a.m. will be nice.”
Even though her term is over at the end of the year, McGinnis said she will definitely be back at the courthouse to take care of old business throughout January.
“... Because I’m the clerk, it’s my responsibility to make sure (recently filed cases are) prepared and sent up to the supreme court,” she said. “The daily work goes on as well. I’m going to be around off-and-on to tie up some loose ends and I’ll be here to answer any questions Glen has.”
While McGinnis ties up the loose ends, Hamilton will have to jump right in with a grand jury in January, followed by a circuit court term in February and a presidential election in November.