Garfield County Clerk & Recorder candidates sound off — Jean Alberico: Experience matters | PostIndependent.com

Garfield County Clerk & Recorder candidates sound off — Jean Alberico: Experience matters

Jean Alberico

Jean Alberico

I am seeking re-election as your Garfield County clerk & recorder. Experience matters, and I am the candidate that has the job knowledge and expertise to oversee or perform the many duties of the County Clerk & Recorder.

When I ran for this office in 2006, I told voters that I would provide quality customer service; develop and implement voter outreach; conduct fair and accurate elections; use technology for faster and easier access to services in the office; and ensure a smooth transition to a new statewide MV system. That's what I have done for the last 12 years.

Shortly after I took office, I put a leadership team in place. Quality customer service begins with strong, caring leadership and an emphasis on keeping the lines of communication open within the office. Employees receive excellent on-the-job training and are given the opportunity to attend regional training classes, seminars and conferences. I encourage staff to take leadership and customer service classes offered through the county HR Department.

My election staff and I have done voter outreach and education at festivals, for CMC students, for civic groups and have recently been asked to provide information about the election process to community groups working with Hispanic voters.

Colorado is recognized nationally as the safest place to vote in the country. Colorado county clerks work closely with the Secretary of State's Office to conduct secure, accurate, fair and transparent elections. The Election Team and dedicated citizen election judges make elections run smoothly.

My office embraces new technology. Citizens can register to vote and update their information online. Thirteen title and registration e-services are available on the MV system. Certified birth certificates for anyone born in Colorado are printed while the customer waits. Real estate records can be submitted electronically for recording and searched on the website. Credit card or electronic checks are accepted for payment. Customers call and have the MV clerks renew vehicle registrations over the phone. You can renew your vehicle registration at one of 19 kiosks located at county clerk's offices or at some Front Range King Sooper stores.

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The conversion to an upgraded motor vehicle system didn't happen in 2007 so we continued to use our DOS-based legacy system. I served as appointed member on the state committee that oversaw the budget and approved programming changes for the old MV system from 2007 until this July. The entire state converted to the new DRIVES system on Aug. 6. The conversion has been challenging, but the staff is quickly learning to navigate the new system and continues to offer excellent service to our customers. I've been appointed as one of five county clerks serving on the DRIVES Governance committee.

While it is true that former employees embezzled funds, when their actions were discovered, I did the right thing, and each one was prosecuted to the full extent of the law. The county's insurance carrier reimbursed the entire loss, so taxpayers lost no money. With the help of outside consultants, the accounting processes were reviewed and additional cash management controls put in place.

The 2017 annual audit recommended that the clerk who balances the books not have an assigned cash drawer. Paul Backes, representing McMahon and Associates, stated at the July 9 County Commissioner meeting that having this clerk wait on customers and accept cash payments was not a weakness and was perfectly appropriate, as long as the compensating controls are followed. She does not reconcile her drawer nor does she prepare the bank deposit.

There are ongoing projects that need to be completed with my oversight. I've recently implemented the use of Laserfiche to scan and organize the commissioners' agenda packets. There are lots of stored documents to be scanned. Next year, the office will transition to a new voting system, Clear Ballot. A major effort is underway to upgrade the county website, and I've met with the committee gathering suggestions to improve this vital public link.

I have the great pleasure of working with a staff that shares my passion and commitment for serving the citizens of this county. We work together each day to make a difference in the lives of Garfield County citizens by providing excellent customer service, by making sure changes in laws or rules are implemented properly, and by changing processes to be more efficient and effective as we serve you.

Experience does matter and I ask that you vote to re-elect Jean Alberico as your County Clerk. Make the election judges happy and turn your voted ballot in early.