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Public servant

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County Clerk should be honored for her dedication to county

By The Staff

Karen Spalding dedicated her career to serving the public.
During her senior year  at Marion County High School, Spalding went to work in the Marion County Clerk’s Office more than 39 years ago. In 2006, she was elected to lead that office. Her co-workers and later her employees praised her abilities and her willingness to do whatever she could to assist the public.
Marion County Judge/Executive John G. Mattingly said Spalding was the “epitome of a public servant.” We all know that the process of registering a vehicle doesn’t always go smoothly, but Spalding and her staff did and do what they can to make the process as painless as possible.
Spalding also helped make some required changes, including working with the Board of Elections to redefine magisterial district boundaries and precinct boundaries throughout the county. Unfortunately for Spalding, the state drug its feet in approving those changes while the legislature needed more than one try to revise its own districts following the 2010 Census.
Spalding also helped redefine the districts for the Marion County Board of Education so that its districts align with magisterial districts. While many voters may never realize it, this will make election days run smoother by reducing the number of alternate ballots poll workers will have to track each election.
For those of us who rubbed shoulders with Spalding on a regular basis, we can attest, Spalding worked hard. She went to great lengths to make sure things were done right, which isn’t always easy, especially during election season. But, doing things the right way was very important to her, and we admired and appreciated that greatly.
Spalding was laid to rest on Friday. After suffering a massive heart attack, Spalding passed away Monday, Dec. 30, at Norton Hospital. She was only 57. She leaves behind a family who loved her very much, a staff that will miss her leadership, and a community that should appreciate her service and her dedication.
One way we can show our appreciation is to make a contribution to the American Heart Association in her memory. We should also educate ourselves on the risks of heart attack or stroke. According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the No. 1 killer of men and women in the United States. Women also should know that heart disease kills more women than all cancers combined.
The American Heart Association says that eating healthy, exercising regularly and not smoking are the three most important things anyone can do to reduce their risk of a heart attack. If you haven’t already, please take the time to learn your risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke and take steps to reduce it.
One way the county can show their appreciation for Spalding’s service is to continue its efforts to implement Enhanced 911 as soon as possible. Many people have been working diligently during the past few years to make E911 a reality. We all know that the faster emergency personnel can get where they are needed, the better chance they have of saving a life. E911 is an essential step we need to take. This is something that should have happened years ago. Marion County citizens should not have to go another year without this service.