Hariel retiring from public service after 38 years
Published 7:00 am Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Monday, Vickie Hariel announced her retirement as Pearl River County’s circuit clerk.
“I believe the Lord has given me peace about retiring. For 38 years, I’ve enjoyed public servanthood,” Hariel said. “I believe everything has a season, and I believe it’s the season for me to retire and spend time with my granddaughters.”
In 1977, Hariel began her public service career working as deputy clerk under former Pearl River County Circuit Clerk Jay Monroe Spiers. When he retired, Hariel worked as chief deputy clerk under former Circuit Clerk Peggy Staten.
“I learned a lot from the wisdom of the two circuit clerks who served before me,” Hariel said.
In 1999, she decided to seek the circuit clerk position. Since her election that year, Hariel has served the county for 16 years as circuit clerk.
“I believe I had a calling. God called me to do public service,” she said.
However, Hariel wasn’t aware of her calling until she joined a program in the late 70’s called the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act, which placed young people into public service jobs, she said.
“I wasn’t really sure what major I wanted to take in college, so I went on this program, which placed me to work at the circuit clerk’s office,” Hariel said. “And when I started to work here, I loved it.”
She has served four terms and will remain in office until her term expires in December of this year.
Once retired, Hariel said she plans to spend time with her granddaughters, Madison and Destiny, travel and remain an active participant in the community.
“I hope to remain active and I have thought about doing volunteer work in the community,” Hariel said. “But I do want to remain active politically.”
She also said the hardest part of leaving the position is saying goodbye to the people she’s met over the years.
“I’ve met so many people who I’ve formed friendships with,” she said. “The hardest part is that I won’t get to see them every day.”
She also had advice to those planning to run for the position of circuit clerk in the upcoming county elections.
“You have to have compassion, and you have to love public service. You can’t do this job for 38 years if you don’t have a love for servanthood or get joy from working with people,” Hariel said.
After all these years, Hariel said it’s the people who have truly made her job worthwhile.
“I love the people in Pearl River County and want to thank them for allowing me to serve here,” Hariel said. “And I’d like to thank God because without him I would not be here today. I know he has guided my path.”