Tahlequah Daily Press

Features

September 27, 2013

Parnell retires from Cherokee County Election Board

TAHLEQUAH — Cherokee County Election Board Secretary Connie Parnell has retired after working at the office on College Avenue since 1987.

According to Parnell, she is considering taking an offer of a contract with the Cherokee Nation to oversee its elections, but no decision has been made yet.

“I worked at the office since 1987,” said Parnell. “I was appointed as election board secretary five years later. I have had the pleasure of working under three Oklahoma senators, including Herb Rozell, Jim Wilson and Wayne Shaw.”

Parnell said she has had the option of retirement since 2009.

“But I love what I do,” she said. “I wasn’t quite ready to retire then.”

Parnell’s assistant, Mary Kaye Masters, is serving as interim secretary.

“The state has a process for appointing a new secretary, and that appointment has yet to be announced by Sen. Shaw,” said Parnell.

While she’s enjoying her free time, she will miss certain aspects of the job.

“I will so miss the people,” said Parnell.

“As regional coordinator, I have worked closely with and gotten to know so many people in numerous counties. It’s been fun, I’ve really enjoyed it.”

When Parnell first went to work for the election board, ballots were still counted by hand.

“I’ve really enjoyed watching the evolution of the election process,” she said. “I feel like the election system is being left in capable hands. I’ve been through two new systems, and I was on ground floor with both of them. I think the state has done well for what we have for the voters. It’s been a great journey.”

tsnell@tahlequahdailypress.com

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Poll

What to you think of a state Legislature proposal to forbid cities from raising the minimum wage? Choose the closest to your opinion.

The federal government should set the minimum wage across the board.
States should be allowed to raise their minimum wages, but not cities.
Both states and cities should be allowed to raise their minimum wages.
Cities should be allowed to raise their mimum wages, but not states.
There should be no minimum wage at all.
Undecided.
     View Results
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