There are a number of items I’d like to bring to everyone’s’ attention beginning with a new meeting time set by the county commission.
At last week’s commission meeting the commissioners decided to move their weekly public meeting from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on the first and third Tuesdays of the month. This will be for a trial period until June to see if more citizens attend. If you feel strongly either way, please either come to the meeting and let them know you like the new time, or email them and let them know you prefer the earlier meeting time.
The next item is witness volunteering. When you come to the Clerk’s office for any business (passport, marriage license, elections) you may be asked to “volunteer” to be a witness for a wedding! Before the county’s furlough, many county employees were used as witnesses for weddings (each marriage must have two witnesses over the age of 18). Now, when the Clerk’s office employees are helping other customers, we may ask you to help — so be prepared!
I appreciated the recent article Tim Gillie did on the clerk’s office in the Transcript-Bulletin. He did a good job and got most of the information correct. I asked him to clarify two items and he suggested I write about them here.
The article stated that the clerk’s office only cut its budget by 8.9 percent, while the rest of the county departments (most of them) cut their budgets by 15 percent. The other 6.1 percent came out of my elections budget for a total of 15 percent. Most of that came from laying off marvelous people (three part-time employees).
The clerk’s office staff has integrated those positions into their daily work load, except for answering the main telephone line. That has now been automated. The other item is the many different ways in which we have saved money in the Clerk/ Election office. They include: 1. By-Mail ballots have gone from $3.25 per ballot to $1.50; 2. Using county employees to cover Early Voting saves $9,000 per election; and 3. Using Vote Centers for election saving $4,000 per election.
Additional savings include items purchased through grants from the state to improve ADA access during elections, such as an elevator ($115,000); automatic door openers at three polling locations (Armory, Erda Fire Station, Dow James Building); “Vote Here” ADA signs; and, through the Risk Assessment Program (RAP) administrated by the clerk’s office, the insurance premium (excluding the new jail) has been reduced by $53,200. Lastly, the cost of claims has been reduced from $132,000 in 2009 to $60,500 in 2011.
And one final, highly important item is this week’s Tooele County Caucus Meeting at the State Capitol. The last chance to meet with our county legislators before the end of the session is Wednesday, Feb. 27 at 5 p.m. in the Capitol Boardroom.
Marilyn K. Gillette is the Tooele County Clerk