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Pinellas Park's city clerk to call it a day

Kathy Witherington Rogers tells a city council loath to see her leave that she wants to spend more time with her husband.

By ANNE LINDBERG
Published February 15, 2004

PINELLAS PARK - City Clerk Kathy Witherington Rogers will retire at the end of next month, after a little more than four years on the job.

Rogers announced her decision to Pinellas Park council members at the end of Tuesday's workshop.

"I'm going to join my husband," she said. Tim Rogers transports race cars to events and is based in North Carolina.

"This is very difficult for me," Rogers said as she held back tears.

Council members were reluctant to receive the news.

When she told them she had an announcement, Rick Butler said, "Don't do it. Don't do it."

Patricia Bailey-Snook said, "We told you when you got married we weren't going to let you go. . . .Always know we love you."

Mayor Bill Mischler said Tuesday, "This is very hard for her. . . .This has been a big part of her life. . . .She's been a tremendous asset to this city, but she has to look ahead."

On Friday, Mischler said, "Kathy has done a tremendous job. . . .She has given her best to the city over the past 20 years."

Rogers' retirement will be effective March 31. Her last day will be March 20. She held off her retirement until then so she could oversee the March 9 election and help with Country in the Park on March 20.

Rogers, 41, has worked for Pinellas Park since December 1984. She became city clerk in 1999 when Grace Kolar retired. Rogers earns about $76,897 annually.

Rogers' tenure was eventful.

The 2001 Pinellas Park election was a mini-replay of the 2000 presidential election. With only five votes separating Sandra Bradbury and Ralph Marlow, she had to oversee successive recounts, one by hand.

Rogers was a common sight around the city, working with the police Explorers troop, appearing at ribbon cuttings and accompanying the city's business visitation team. She was known to sign documents with smiley faces.

She was responsible for bringing the Dale Earnhardt race cars to Country in the Park. That's how she met her husband. He delivered the cars to Pinellas Park.

If the council does not select a successor before Rogers leaves, deputy city clerk Diane Corna will act as interim clerk until a replacement is named.

Mischler said Friday he believes Corna will have the inside track to replace Rogers. The council, which hires the clerk, has a history of hiring from within and Corna has the training. She also has Mischler's support, he said.

Corna, 45, has worked for Pinellas Park since 1994. She earns about $45,157.

[Last modified February 15, 2004, 01:15:45]


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