November 24, 2014

Outgoing court administrator remembered as professional, honest

By Jeff Patrus|Staff Writer
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STANDISH — After 40 years of working in Arenac County, JoAnn Swartz is calling it a career as of New Year’s Eve.

Swartz, a Circuit Court administrator, is retiring today, leaving behind what she termed a “fast-paced” job to slow down and spend time with her family. She said she took a $10,000 buyout from the county to retire.

“It was the time in my life for me to make a change,” Swartz said when asked why she decided to take the buyout. She said she actually started with the county as a judicial secretary for a few years before becoming a court administrator.

Swartz said she has been an Arenac County resident her entire life, except for when she attended college at Northeastern Business College in Bay City and worked in Flint for a couple of years after graduating from college.

Judge Ronald M. Bergeron is a judge for the 23rd Circuit Court, which encompasses Arenac, Alcona, Oscoda, and Iosco Counties. He said he has worked with Swartz for 27 years combined as a Circuit and Probate Judge, and for eight years before that as a local attorney.

“She has high standards,” Bergeron said of Swartz. “She’s hardworking, professional, honest and ethical.”

Arenac County Board of Commissioners Chairman Raymond Daniels said he has worked with Swartz for three years, and while he said they don’t always see eye to eye on county matters, their working relationship has always been respectful.

“We’ve disagreed on things along the way, on different issues, but JoAnn is one of the more professional people I’ve ever worked with,” Daniels said. “She’s got to be right up at the top of the list. If she has a complaint, she comes and tells you, and there’s nothing said behind your back.”

Swartz quipped that the nature of job has changed “a lot” from the first time “since I first got here and worked with manual typewriters.” She sad she will miss the fact that “I worked with some really nice people.”

“I’ve experienced a lot through the years,” she added. “It’s a lot of organization, and I think people are busier and the pace is a lot faster.”

After her last day of work, Swartz said she plans to spend some time with husband Richard and her two grandchildren.

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