"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have"
Thomas Jefferson

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

For County Clerk - Gertrude Karris vs ?

The Democratic candidate for County Clerk is likely to be the current clerk from the village of Sackets Harbor, Gertrude Karris.

The GOP has yet to field a candidate for the clerk's position, but that is not to say people are not interested. Scott Burto, Mayor of West Carthage, is among a couple of names that are known to be interested, the other is Randy Morrow, an employee of Brownell Abstract.

The Democrat's strategy is obviously; to make a leap from a village clerk to county clerk is a natural progression, while in fact they are entirely different jobs. The village of Sackets Harbor has a paid treasurer, while the County Clerk manages a budget with receipts in excess of $1.5 million dollars.

On the other hand, the GOP could make a case for Morrow with his background in land records and for possibly for Burto with his budget background and management of a village government.

There have not been any names yet to surface on either side from inside the County Clerk's office, that would most likely be the favorable progression, someone with actual experience in the office.

The County Clerk's office is the primary repository of records in the county; land records, court records and an agent for the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles. 

What are your thoughts and would do you like to see in a County Clerk candidate?


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Scott would be great if he runs the office like West Carthage with the taxpayers best interest in mind.

Dan Francis said...

I'd think the more people who knew about all the "duties" of the County Clerk and felt they were qualified could lead into more people throwing the proverbial hat into the ring. Here is one sample of a typical NYS County Clerk's duties and responsibilities:

The County Clerk is a constitutional officer, elected for a four year term.

The County Clerk has a constitutional duty to serve as Clerk of the State Supreme Court in the County, and a statutory duty to serve as Clerk of the County Court. As Clerk of the Supreme and County Courts, the County Clerk provides files, records, and indexes of papers in legal actions and proceedings.

The County Clerk also maintains judgment dockets, and records of monies paid or ordered to be paid into Court.

In addition to Court duties, various statutes require that the Clerk's office: record deeds, mortgages, assignments, and liens; files maps, pistol permits, financing statements, and Federal tax liens; qualifies notary public appointments in the County; files oaths of office of County officials; issues motor vehicle registrations and licenses.

Files kept by the office are permanent and are used continually by attorneys and the public in checking real estate titles, criminal convictions, and other legal records.

The expenses of the Clerk as clerk of the courts are partially funded by the State under the Unified Court Budget.

The costs for other services performed by the Clerk's Office are, in part, charged to the individual user, who pays a fee for recording and filing papers.

In addition, revenue is received from mortgage tax fees, criminal fees, motor vehicle fees, casual sales tax, and deed and transfer tax fees.

So, based on this, I'd think a person with a lot of experience in running or supervising an office (filing, processes, correspondence, budgeting, personnel supervision, etc) would make an idea candidate.

So just having "one piece or two of knowledge in an area" that you mention (budgeting and/or record keeping) might not cut the mustard as it were - plus good old fashioned horse sense and leadership skills would help, too, since our Jefferson County office is quite large and has grown over the years and may grow more (Fort Drum keeps expanding, too).

I'm kinda interested in the job and have a background that fits nicely as I've described above ...

~ dmf

* The jockeying will be intense and strictly a closely-guarded party political secret ... it always is in this race.

Anonymous said...

Essentially its a political job with a need for management experience. Obviously a familiarity with government, the law and budgeting is a plus.
As one of the few offices we are allowed to vote on, the race takes on political importance and it will this year as the Dems try to build on their ascendency and the GOP tries to prove they are still viable.
In the end the appointment of a competant deputy and the work of the civil service folks in the department will get the day to day stuff done.
It is an elected office and as such, the process is political and thats OK.

Anonymous said...

The Village of West Carthage has a paid treasurer to, does it not?

As a Republican, I would support Morrow over Burto. Burto already has a no-show patronage job (trail coordinator). He doesn't need another one!

Earthbob said...

The unspoken duty of the County Clerk is reducing the DMV lines.

Our present Clerk managed this accomplishment very well.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:53, so you think the County Clerk is a no-show job??? I am pretty sure neither of them are no-show jobs. Maybe you should pick up a petition and run instead if you think it is so easy.

Dan Francis said...

FN: Gertie is in an "appointed" position - not an elected on.

People sometimes act differently when they have to run for office -- we shall see.

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