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January 2, 2014

Kaiser, Estes celebrate one year in county positions

DUNCAN — One year ago today, District 2 commissioner Lonnie Estes and county clerk Cindy Kaiser were sworn into their respective positions.

And through their first years in their new jobs, they have seen ups and downs through the Stephens County Courthouse and other aspects of the county.

“It has gone well,” Kaiser said about her first year as county clerk. “It’s definitely a challenge. There’s a lot more to it than I thought.”

The two county officials were sworn in by District Judge Joe Enos, who swore in court clerk Maggie Cunningham and Sheriff Wayne McKinney at the same time. Cunningham took over her positon in March 2012, following the retirement of Connie Elam.

Kaiser took over the position when Jo Johnson retired. Kaiser has worked for Stephens County for 32 years.

“It has been a learning experience,” she said.

Estes is the newest members of the Board of Stephens County Commissioners. He said his first year on the board has been busy, but he’s been working to help improve the county through the decisions he and his fellow board members make.

“It’s been fun,” Estes said. “I enjoy helping people when I can. I like talking to people in the county and getting their input, although it’s not all good.”

Kaiser and Estes said they have encountered few problems in their first year in their positions. And none of the issues have been employee related.

Kasier said she is she works with great people and is excited to see everyone working well together.

“It’s been a good year,” she said. “I love this courthouse. I love the people I work with.”

She said she initially didn’t know if she would want to become county clerk. But when the position came open, she had a decision to make, and she chose to take on the additional challenges.

Estes ran for election to the board against incumbent Todd Churchman and won his seat on the board. Churchman was later appointed to the Stephens County Excise Board, which makes decisions related to the county’s budget.

In the county’s budget, Estes found one of his few concerns with 2013.

“I was a little disappointed with the budget not being able to get courthouse security,” he said. “But there’s always next year.”

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