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Over the last 4 years our team has worked very hard to create efficiencies within the County Clerk's Office.  Below are some examples of where this office was when I was elected as Clerk, versus what our team has accomplished over my first term.

1) The Bank Account we now have includes Positive Pay so the public's funds are protected in the event someone alters a check we sent them which has happened twice now. Up to the point that I took over leadership of this office, the bank account did not have this protection.

2) We no longer send out restitution checks to victims for a penny $.01. It seemed like an insult to the victim as it wasn't worth it to go and cash it. Now we wait until the amount hits $10.00 and a check is issued which all other counties were doing. This has saved so much in not only staff time to reconcile the account, but the costs of the checks and postage.

3) We recently started sending a staff member into court to escort the self-represented litigants back to the office when their case is done so they can get any copies of what they need and leave. They used to be told by the Judge in court to have a seat outside the Clerk's Office until the clerk in court returns to the office with the orders if they needed copies. There were many days when many people would sit outside my office for 2 hours. Now we are even certifying copies of Domestic Violence Protection Orders in the courtroom so the parties leave the courtroom and go directly home, bypassing the need to even come to my office and be in a close proximity to each other any longer than need be.

4) We have accomplished cross-training of all staff in both office and court procedures and we have more planned in the upcoming 4 years. Staff from our Superior and Juvenile Clerk's Office are cross-trained to work in either court at either location. When I started as Clerk, each just one responsibility and clerks covering court only knew how to do one type of court hearing. This caused a drastic reduction in services when that individual was on vacation and no one else knew how to do the work. When I lead this office as a supervisor earlier in my career, everyone in the office could do almost everything and clerks covering court knew how to cover every kind of court. 

5) We have collected almost twice the amount of legal financial obligations since we started our in-house collection department 3 weeks after go live with Odyssey. Our collection staff worked with Thurston County collection staff that had been there 20 years and shared their procedures and were a mentor for us. At that time, we were one of two counties out of 39 that contracted out this collection to an outside agency. Once we started our own collections, we quickly understood what the other counties meant when they said we were losing money contracting this out.

6) We are set to be the next county department to implement credit/debit card payments to the walk-in public at our front counter. I look forward to working with our Treasurer's Office to provide this much needed service. We are excited as this will be the first time the Clerk's Office has offered this service for many who don't have cash. It will also cut down on the amount of cash my staff have to handle.

7) We have been working on a job description for a "Senior Accountant" position over the past months and we are to the point of posting the position for hiring once the County Commissioners approve it.  This will be the first time the office has had someone with an accounting degree in charge of finance in the office.

8) We have simplified many other processes which has increased staff time for other responsibilities, and saved costs.

We are grateful for the support, patience, and understanding of those we have served over the last 4 years as we went through a very extensive statewide technology upgrade as an early adopter.  The system, Odyssey, replaced a 30-year old system.  It changed every duty in the office except assisting you on the telephone, or at the counter.  We made it and the last 2 counties will go live in November.  As a new Clerk, preparing and going live with this technology only 5 months after taking office as an early adopter, was a huge challenge and I couldn't have done it without our team!  They deserve so much credit. 

We thank Ilene Thomson, our Treasurer, and Charles Ross, our Auditor, for all the assistance they have given us in establishing financial policies in this office since there were no established policies up until that time in this office. 

We thank you for taking the time to visit our website and see the good things we have done to provide you with the highest levels of service possible always.  

With your support in the General Election, our team can continue to make this office great again!

Thank you!!!


Committee to Elect Janelle Riddle
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