Hitting the road

After a decade of service,
Oldham Co. Clerk Brown retires

By Helen E. McKinney
Contributing Writer

LA GRANGE, Ky. (December 2006) – Since 1995, Ann Brown’s face has been a familiar one to many people in her role as Oldham County Clerk. With her official retirement on Dec. 31, Brown will leave behind a position that will be hard to fill.
Becoming County Clerk was “one position I always wanted to do,” said Brown, 63. When former County Clerk Martha Davis decided to retire, then-Judge-Executive John Black selected Brown as an appointee until the next election.
Before becoming County Clerk, Brown was the Court Administrator for the 12th Judicial Circuit, serving Oldham, Henry and Trimble counties. She held this position from 1970 until 1995 and served under Judge George Williamson and Judge Dennis Fritz.

Ann Brown

Photo by Don Ward

Ann Brown plans to focus on piano lessons
and playing golf in her retirement,
which begins on Jan. 1.

There were numerous tasks associated with Brown’s job as County Clerk, something she said many people fail to realize. Her duties included clerical tasks for Fiscal Court, such as issuing, registering and recording legal records, and managing election duties, voting, taxes and notary duties. She said the most favorable thing about her job was the people she met daily.
Through it all, Brown says she has appreciated her constituents and her staff of 22 deputies – more than they know. “This office would not be the office it is without each employee. They all give 110 percent.”
Brown, termed a staunch Democrat by those who know her, selected Republican Julie Lentz as her successor.
“I know I have some very large shoes to fill,” said Lentz who takes office Jan. 1. Lentz was hired as a Deputy Clerk but elected to the position of County Clerk.
Lentz said Brown has been a mentor for her, training her for the position and offering support.
“She is a wealth of knowledge,” Lentz said. “She has been very generous with imparting her knowledge of the office.”
Brown took her to meetings and introduced her to other County Clerks in the state who also offered their support. “Ann has been a very forward thinking County Clerk, making a lot of changes,” Lentz said.
Lentz plans to expand on Brown’s ideas by tweaking the computer system and cross-training the clerks. By the first of the year, the County Clerk’s office will accept debit and credit cards for payment.
Lentz said that not only do the newly elected in-coming officials owe Brown a big “thank you,” but so do the citizens of Oldham County. “She implemented the technology to make the office user-friendly so that I can expand on this for the customers.”
Brown moved to Oldham County from Owen County in 1966 when her first husband, Hugh Brown, was transferred in his job as a football coach.
She is now married to Frank Pickett and lives in La Grange. Brown has three children: Mary Sloan, Eric Pickett and Barry Pickett.
Brown has come to know the citizens of Oldham County over the years and been very involved in civic organizations in the community.
One is the Community Chest of Oldham County, which provides emergency aid to temporarily meet basic needs for individuals who may have lost their jobs and not be able to provide food for their children or make their house payments.
A member of the La Grange Christian Church since the 1970s, Brown also managed the Oldham County Horse Shows at the Fairgrounds in years past. She has devoted a large portion of her time to Project Guild of La Grange. It is through Project Guild that Mary Broecker met Brown 37 years ago.
“I don’t have a better friend than Ann Brown,” said Broecker. “She will go out of her way to help anyone.”
Broecker defined her friend as compassionate, dependable to a fault, and trustworthy. She said that when it came to Project Guild, Brown was “always ready to fill in where needed with out complaining.”
Project Guild of La Grange has a standing membership of 18. The organization is responsible for staging Oldham County Day every third Saturday in July. Brown said they also furnished a pre-natal unit at Mallory Taylor Hospital in La Grange.
Members of Project Guild take turns as president. Brown and Broecker have both held this position several times as well as overseeing the numerous booths that line the streets around the courthouse for more than eight years.
“Together, we had a good time organizing the event,” Broecker said. “She made it a pleasurable experience.”
Brown plans to pursue piano lessons and golf now that she is retiring. But she said, “I don’t think I’m done with politics.”
She’ll be remembered for her blue-and-white decorated office in the courthouse annex, where she proudly displayed her loyalty to the University of Kentucky.
Reflecting upon her life Brown said, “God has blessed me in many ways.”

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