The Woodward News

Local News

May 29, 2014

Murlin receives statewide award

Since she was in the third grade, City of Woodward Court Clerk Andrea Murlin wanted to be a nurse so she could take care of people.

She even went to school at High Plains Technology Center several years ago, but ultimately something else earned her love.

She fell in love with serving the court system and the people of Woodward and Woodward County.

But still, Murlin got her wish -  the taking care of people part, anyway.

She does her caretaking as the city’s court clerk.  And she must be good at it because just last week, Murlin won a statewide award - The New Horizon Award through the Oklahoma Municipal Court Clerk's Association.

The Municipal County Clerk's Association is a statewide organization that supports its members with subject matter training and public information and awareness campaigns that are aimed at increasing the public's confidence in the judicial branch of government.

The statewide award is aimed at one stellar performer in the court clerk's role serving in any city within Oklahoma. It recognizes those court clerks nominated by their own city administration and in Murlin's case, her own office, who have been serving as a court clerk for less than five years.

Murlin heads the Woodward City Court Clerk's office, which also oversees the utility clerks division as well as the cemetery administrative duties, she said.

Her duties include scheduling of arraignments, accepting traffic citation fees as well as court fees and numerous other administrative duties related to the city court and utilities.

Wednesday, Murlin worked in her small but comfortable office she shares with Deputy Court Clerk Brandi Hamilton.

Murlin might be the one who got the award but she is no glory hound.

Indeed, in her interview with us at the Woodward News, it was hard to get her to focus on questions about her own work without dovetailing that with other compliments and statement about her team and the city administration.

And that's what makes Murlin successful - an acute awareness of her team and how serving each other carries through to how customers are served, said her boss, City Clerk Catherine Coleman.

"We are very proud of her accomplishments and we feel very fortunate to have her in the city family," Coleman said.

For Murlin, she looks around her and waves her hand in a gesture meant to take in the whole of the  Woodward city building.

"Look, I couldn't do this without all of them," she said. "Like my deputy here, Brandi Hamilton, she does a wonderful job."

And then she went on to sing the praises of the women of the utility office on up to the City Manager, Alan Riffel.

Born in and raised in Woodward Murlin graduated from Woodward High School in 1991, she said. She knew early she would at the very least be in a business where she could care for others.

She thought that would be in nursing but in 2008, an opportunity opened up for her in the Woodward County Court Clerk's office.

"Yes, I got the chance to work with Jenny Hopkins," she said. "She taught me a whole lot and it was a wonderful experience  working with those women up at the county clerks office."

Then in 2011, I was offered this opportunity as deputy court clerk," she said.

Murlin loves the opportunity to serve individuals who come into her office, many times with issues and needs she can help them address.

"A lot of times, people come into your office and they are not happy to be here," she said. "I just try to be kind and a lot of times, it is a chance for me to just sit and listen to them and other times, I can help them with resources they may be needing."

There have been times already, in her short tenure in the court clerks office, where she has helped a family who had fallen on hard times and couldn't pay their fines by helping them connect with other agencies who could help them, she said.

So it is not just by doing a perfect job or keeping a pristine office, or even getting all the paperwork turned in on time that makes Murlin tick. It's the human experience, she said.

"Ultimately, I am a public servant and I take that very seriously," she said.

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