MAYVILLE – Chautauqua County Clerk Sandra K. Sopak will retire at the end of the year, when her fifth term of office concludes, she announced Monday.

In a statement, Sopak, 73, said: “After five terms ... and 20 years of living, breathing, crying and bleeding the County Clerk’s Office, it’s time to turn it over, knowing I left it better than I found it, with a solid foundation for the next clerk.”

The Clerk’s Office is certainly much different than when Sopak took over in 1994, when the county was still using paper records and filing cabinets. During her tenure, the records have been computerized, and historical documents were electronically archived. The National Genealogical Society presented her an Award of Merit for her efforts, the only time it has so honored a county clerk. She also has received the William H. Kelly and the Wheeler Melius awards for excellence in records management and was named Clerk of the Year in 2004 by the New York State Association of County Clerks.

Sopak, who lives in Falconer, was unopposed in the last two county elections and has offered to advise anyone interested in succeeding her.

“Being county clerk isn’t a political job, it’s a tough, multifaceted management position,” she said in her statement, which she concluded by expressing her appreciation to the people of Chautauqua County.

This isn’t the only change known to be coming in the county office building in Mayville. Chautauqua County Executive Greg Edwards, a Republican, also has announced he will not seek another term in the fall.