Robert reflects on 33 years as Cape Girardeau County recorder

Thursday, December 16, 2010

After losing her re-election bid in November, Cape Girardeau County Recorder Janet Robert will be leaving office after 33 years in the position.

She said while she is looking forward to some well-deserved rest, she will miss the office.

"The thing I'll miss most about it is my staff, the county officials and all the people I've met that I would never have had the opportunity to meet," she said.

When Robert took office in 1977, she had worked as a dental hygienist and part-time in the Cape Girardeau County Clerk's office, but had always had an interest in politics.

"My mother said as a child we were visiting someone and the Democratic National Convention was on TV and I just sat watching in silence, mesmerized," she said. "Of course, they were different back then. You didn't know who the candidate was going to be. There was competition and they had parades and balloons and speeches. I was fascinated with it," she said.

In more than three decades of public service, Robert has had many successes, but views the office's role in developing new indexing software as the greatest accomplishment of her administration.

Her department was the second in Missouri and the 12th in the country to serve as a test office for the program. She said as she and her staff find things that don't work with the program, they collaborate with the software developer to make improvements.

"I'm proud to have been in on that. It's a good thing. It's not often you get to help develop the program that you are going to use," she said.

While she has enjoyed her time in office, she said she plans on using her retirement as an opportunity to travel, practice her golf game and visit her grandchildren who live in North Carolina and Texas.

As far as transitioning her replacement, Robert said incoming recorder Scott R. Clark has been in the office a few times. She has also talked to him about the job, but there is no substitute for on-the-job training. She said that was how she learned the office and thinks it worked out well.

"I hope I did a good job. I feel like I did," she said.

cbartholomew@semissourian.com

243-8600

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1 Barton Square, Jackson, MO

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