SCHENECTADY COUNTY — Schenectady County Clerk John J. Woodward announced on Friday that he will not run for re-election in November, after seven terms in office.
The Democrat, 61, has served since May 1994 when he was appointed to office by then-Gov. Mario Cuomo. He has previously said this would be his last term.
“I have been running for public office since 1975, and I think it’s time that I retire,” Woodward said in a prepared statement announcing his decision. “I greatly appreciate the support I have received from the voters of Schenectady County. Holding this position has been one of the greatest experiences of my life; it’s the best job in local government.”
The county clerk, who earns $97,467 annually, oversees the storage of the county’s legal records, including deeds, liens and court records.
Woodward has been involved in public life since he was elected to the Mohonasen School Board at the age of 18. He served three years on that board, and then four terms as Rotterdam receiver of taxes from 1985-1994. He also worked as a legislative staffer for the state Assembly from 1979-1985.
“I am very proud of our efforts to modernize and computerize the county clerk’s office with document imaging and electronic recording,” Woodward said. “We really brought the clerk’s office into the 21st century.”
He noted that state Department of Motor Vehicles service, which is administered by the county clerk’s office, also was improved, citing the new DMV building at 2025 State St. in Schenectady that opened last year.
Even though he will leave office in December, Woodward said he will continue in public service as Rotterdam’s part-time town historian. The town of Rotterdam is laying plans for a bicentennial celebration in 2020.