New Somerset County court administrator learning as she goes
Tammy Jo Lambie said she is enjoying her time as the new Somerset County court administrator.
It’s been a month since the Fayette County resident started in that position.
“The courthouse runs very smoothly and everyone does their job and does it well,” she said.
Lambie lives in Markleysburg, the town where she was raised, but she has family connections in Somerset County. Her mother lives in New Centerville, and her grandmother lived in Confluence until she died recently at the age of 95.
Lambie began working in the Fayette County court system 19 years ago, first in the custody office, next in court administration and then as deputy court administrator, a position she held since 2006 until taking on her current job.
Although she loved her job in Fayette, she said she was looking for new professional challenges. When the court administrator position opened up in Somerset County she decided to apply.
She said that “everyone is very nice and very welcoming. and Brad Cober (who retired as court administrator) was a very good mentor,” she said. She spent a couple weeks with him on the job before taking over the role.
“It is very much laid back here,” she said. “I used to start my day with a phone call and everything changing, but here you get to take a few breaths in between,” she said.
She is working on three new projects — a Somerset Inc. fundraiser for May that will be a black tie gala at the courthouse; creating a children’s playroom to use during Somerset County Children and Youth Service’s hearing day on Tuesdays; and automating the way prospective jurors’ numbers are chosen on jury day to shorten the time they have to spend in the courthouse. The county information technology department is working on writing the program that may be available for a duel tryout for the May criminal trial term, she said.
In her spare time she loves to knit, crochet and paint. Her artistic side will benefit the creation of a playroom and while in court administration at Fayette, she was part of the change to a more automated jury experience there.
She has spent time with all three county judges in the courthouse and has visited all five of the district judges’ magisterial offices.
“I have to learn all Somerset County practices and procedures,” she said.
President Judge D. Gregory Geary is the fifth president judge she has worked with in her professional life and she said she is enjoying the relationship.
“He tells it the way it is and I like that,” she said. “He does so respectfully.”
Lambie is glad she doesn’t have to drive over a mountain to get here. She drives 45 minutes each way and enjoys the scenery along the way. Most importantly, at least over the time she has been here, she doesn’t mind driving in snow and if it gets too crazy she can always visit her mother, she said.
Lambie enjoys traveling. She has visited all but eight states, and a few years ago flew to Ireland, rented a van and stayed at prearranged bed and breakfast establishments for a 15-day trip with several family members, among them her sons.
She has twin boys who turned 25 on Thursday. Mark and Nicholas (and her daughter-in-law, Courtney) are the joy of her life, along with her granddaughter, Adalynn, who turns 1-year-old on May 23. Her sons are opening a Ziebart franchise in Morgantown, West Virginia.
“I’m very proud of them, only 25 and opening up a franchise,” she said. Their automobile care center building is almost complete and her sons hope to open the business in April with a grand opening the weekend of May 23. Nicholas and Courtney are both in the U.S. Air Force and are stationed in Rome, New York, with their little daughter. So for now, Mark will manage the business on-site and Nick will help by doing paperwork from New York, she said.
One of her biggest challenges is getting to know the courthouse staff. She is enjoying meeting that challenge.
“I have no complaints,” Lambie said. “I do enjoy it here. It is a big change from Fayette and I’ve enjoyed every bit of it.”