County realigns clerk-recorder position |

County realigns clerk-recorder position

Millete Birhanemaskel, Sun news service

In its first significant move to avoid chaos in the Elections Office after the Nevada County clerk-recorder’s surprise resignation, the Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to divide the job into two.

When Clerk-Recorder Lorraine Jewett-Burdick exits her office Jan. 14, her workload will be split. Her role as registrar of voters will be left to a newly appointed official, while the clerk-recorder responsibilities will go to the Nevada County assessor.

The council voted 3-0 in favor of the division and of reassigning the clerk-recorder position to Assessor Dale Flippin, at his request. Supervisors Robin Sutherland and Barbara Green were absent.

The combination of assessor, clerk and recorder isn’t a new concept, Flippin told the board. In fact, several counties throughout California have varying combinations of assessor, clerk-recorder and registrar of voters.

The recruitment process for a registrar of voters will begin as soon as the legality of Tuesday’s decisions is confirmed. The process will include a salary survey and a job announcement to be posted in two to four weeks.

Once the board appoints a candidate, he or she will manage the March elections six weeks after taking office. If necessary, the county can contract a retired election official to help oversee the March contests.

“That’s really reassuring,” Human Resources Director Gayle Satchwell said.

The board also voted to provide additional assistance to the Elections Office based on a survey conducted by the county executive office. The survey, measuring the number of registered voters and full-time employees of 13 counties, revealed the Elections Office may need an additional full-time employee. It currently has only 4 1/2 full-time employees.

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