OGDENSBURG — Inside City Court, Lisa M. Meyer has been the one constant presence as judges would come and go during her 30-plus year career.
The long-time chief clerk retired Wednesday, six months into her 31st year working in the court system at City Hall.
“You put so much of your life into it,” Meyer said. “I have had the opportunity to work with some extraordinary people. I have been very blessed.”
Three decades ago, George Silver was presiding when she first came on board at City Court. A. Michael Gebo, William Small, Gary Alford and most recently Marcia LeMay and part-time judge Keith Massey followed.
She enjoyed working with each judge, she said, and several would push her to think “outside the box” and challenge her.
“I had such a wonderful working relationship with each and every one of them,” said Meyer, adding that, “They’ve all had so much faith in me. I was lucky to work with all of them.”
LeMay, who took the bench in January, recalls that when she was a younger attorney in City Court, she found Meyer to be friendly, helpful and “wonderful to work with.”
“I was so excited to be able to work with her because she’s efficient and knowledgeable. The amount of institutional knowledge that we will lose is phenomenal,” the current city judge said of Meyer.
Meyer began her career at City Court as a stenographer before being made chief clerk in March 1998. As chief clerk, she would assist the presiding city judge at the bench during court proceedings and arraignments as well as supervised four employees — a court assistant, two clerical assistants and a Drug Court coordinator. She also worked closely with court security.
She recalls that City Court has been through a number of changes over the years. She worked with Judge Silver to implement Drug Court and was involved in the expansion of needed office space for City Court, which is located in the second floor of City Hall.
Most recently bail reform laws have increased workloads and now the COVID-19 pandemic has literally changed the system to where virtual arraignments and court appearances are commonplace.
In some instances, virtual proceedings have made it easier for people to attend, according to Meyer.
“I feel like we get much better attendance,” she said, “It’s easier for people, it may even save them a 30-minute ride or maybe they have transportation issues.”
Natalie Spilman, a deputy chief clerk with St. Lawrence County and state Supreme Court, will take over Meyer’s duties until a replacement can be hired.