Heather Gilbert announces bid for Putnam County clerk

Thursday, March 27, 2014
Heather Gilbert

Heather Gilbert has announced her bid for clerk of the Putnam Circuit Court on the Republican ballot in the May 6 primary election.

The Clerk's Office handles a multitude of tasks which include processing of all files from both Putnam Superior Court and Putnam Circuit Court from the time they are filed with the office until the time they are disposed of.

In addition the Clerk's Office handles the collection of fees associated with all criminal cases, traffic tickets, restitution, judgments in civil case and mortgage foreclosures.

Also, the clerk is responsible for collection and disbursement of all bonds and drug and alcohol fees and plays a big role in the collection of all child-support payments as well as passport applications and marriage licenses.

Gilbert has served in the capacity of first deputy clerk and bookkeeper since 1999 under current Clerk Marty G. Watts and former clerk Opal J. Sutherlin.

As the bookkeeper, Gilbert is responsible for making sure all of the money that flows through the Clerk's Office goes to the correct funds as set by Indiana state statutes.

Gilbert manages the office in the absence of the clerk with responsibility for all matters that come before the office. During election time she has had the responsibility of checking in inspectors' materials and ballots from each precinct, assisting the clerk to make sure results of each election run smoothly.

"It is so exciting waiting as each precinct checks in on election night and waiting for the ballots to be calculated," Gilbert said. "There is such a buzz all over the building as everyone waits in anticipation of the announcement for each precinct's votes."

With a great deal of responsibility going into the election process, Gilbert believes that as the election administrator she can take over those duties "and make each election successful."

"The Clerk's Office is a very fast-paced environment with a lot of multi-tasking that has to take place to be able to get everything done," Gilbert said. "That is what I love about the Clerk's Office. We are always busy and there are so many types of things that are handled in the office. There is a lot of variety in what you do daily."

Gilbert says she "would love the opportunity" to serve her community as the next county clerk.

"I am proud to call Putnam County home," she said. "Putnam County is where I grew up and went to school and where I married my husband Chris 25 years ago."

The Gilberts have chosen to raise their children, Shelby and Christopher, in Putnam County, she added.

The clerk candidate is the daughter of Robert and Ginny Callahan. She has one sister, Amanda Callahan.