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Clemons looks back at first two years, has high hopes for future

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I can hardly believe that I am coming upon the end of my second year as your Grant County clerk. It seems like yesterday I was walking into the office with wide eyes and a determined heart. What a pleasure it has been serving our community and I hope to continue in this capacity for many years to come.
When I decided to run for the position of Grant County clerk, I recognized that I had much to learn about the job if I wanted to not only maintain the integrity of the office, but also improve upon the foundation that had already been laid.
Long before I was elected, I began reaching out to surrounding county clerks and making connections that have served me, and in turn, our community, over the last two years. I came into office with wisdom and advice from people that have been serving for years.
After meeting with the staff and expressing the vision I had for our office, in which customer service would be our top priority, I set about making a “first impression”.  
Although we had sufficient space, the functionality was lacking. Shelving was moved and a waiting area was created, along with a fresh coat of paint and new décor to enhance the experience of our customers.  
I quickly learned that Grant County was “behind the times”, so to speak, when it came to what some of the other county clerks offer.
My first focus was the motor vehicle department. During my term, I have implemented the use of debit and credit cards, installed an ATM, created an informative website geared toward answering questions and simplifying the process of conducting business, applied the use of social media to quickly communicate with our customers and streamlined the motor vehicle and dealer departments to provide fast, efficient and friendly service.
The average customer does not recognize the full picture of a county clerk’s responsibility.
While the motor vehicle department is where the majority of our work lies, we are also charged with retaining all documents pertaining to real estate, marriage, military discharges, land surveys and even more. Record retention and preservation, as you can imagine, is extremely important.
While in office, I have been able to write a grant to receive $18,000 in additional funding to image some of these documents. We are currently working on this project and hope to obtain additional funds to encompass more records.
Fiscal responsibility is another component of the county clerk’s position. It is my duty to save taxpayer dollars whenever and wherever I can.
Elections, of any kind, are quite costly. So, along with the County Board of Elections, I decided that we should conduct our own precinct officer training. We are now able to offer video training that provides clear and concise information regarding laws and regulations to be followed by our election workers while saving tax dollars.
Voting is a vital component to our democracy and should be handled with the utmost respect. I gladly assume the responsibility of upholding the integrity of the voting process and the precincts in which it is conducted.
Lastly, I have high hopes for the future. My focus is on community interaction and increasing voter awareness. Already we are working on customer service training and, just as important, cross-training within the office. Our website and services that we offer will continue to evolve as we strive to better assist you. We have proudly been part of Grant County and Williamstown mock elections to help students understand the voting process and their responsibility to have a ‘voice’. I look forward to continuing our joint efforts in educating the youth here in Grant County and beyond.
I have been blessed both professionally and personally over the last two years.
Along with my husband Joe and my son Jeffrey, we welcomed Madalynn into our family this last year.
I am so thankful for the service of our team of deputy clerks that I work with daily. The experiences I have had professionally while serving as clerk have been invaluable.
Not only has this opportunity given me the chance to serve others, but also it has given me the ability to teach my young children about what it means to lead and serve our community.