Stone County Clerk Judy Berkstresser says it's time to turn the page in a chapter of her life.
Berkstresser, announced last week that she will not seek reelection for the office that she has held since 2003. Before being elected as clerk, Berkstresser served 6 years as state representative for the 141st district.
"I prayed about this for very long time," she said. "I have a peace about it and believe it is the right time to let someone else have a shot."
The county clerk is responsible for payroll for all county employees and accounts payable and receivable. They are also the custodian of records, among other duties.
She said she believes with the advances in technology that all county departments could one day be on the same operating system and that could cut down on costly overhead for the county by integrating all operating systems as one.
When I first took office I didn't even have a computer in my office," she said. "With the ever evolving advances in technology, my office has changed drastically since I took office."
Berkstresser, was one of the first clerks in Missouri to bring electronic voting to constituents due to HAVA (Help America Vote Act.)
"I believe everybody's life is a book and we're constantly writing chapters in our book," she said. "I'm not finished with public service by any means...I just feel stagnated and need a change. I have a great staff who I have the utmost respect for."
Filing for open elected county positions begins on February 25, 2014 and runs through March 25, 2014. There is a $50 filing fee. Berkstresser says she hopes by making the announcement early that people "who really want to serve" will consider running for the office.
"What I’m doing now is giving someone else the opportunity to take over the county clerk’s office and continue the work I've done."
Berkstresser says when she leaves office she will probably be commuting a lot to Kansas City where her husband Alan's business is located. "I'm not ready to sit on the porch just yet."