Thinned staff spurs reduced schedule, says Clinton County Recorder

By Gary Huffenberger -

County Recorder Brenda Huff

County Recorder Brenda Huff

News Journal file photo

WILMINGTON — Starting next week, the Clinton County Recorder’s Office at the courthouse will reduce the hours it’s open to the public on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Every Tuesday and Thursday the office will be open to the public from 8 a.m. to noon. The office hours for Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays will remain the same as before: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Clinton County Recorder Brenda J. Huff said the reason for the new hours is a smaller staff after commissioners said a vacated full-time position should be reduced to a part-time position.

The remaining staffers are “just falling further and further behind” on necessary work, said Huff. Closing doors to the public on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons will help the staff catch up with other work duties because they won’t need to be serving the foot traffic that otherwise would come through the doors.

As the News Journal reported in July, Clinton County commissioners cut funds for the County Recorder’s Office after a full-time worker there retired and Huff declined a commissioners’ proposal that the new hire be shared with two other county offices or be a part-time position.

In the summer, the three-term recorder posted a sign on the Recorder’s Office door indicating, “There may be days when this office has been reduced to only a single employee due to illnesses or vacations; in those cases, the office [door] will be closed, so that the other duties of the office can be completed. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you.”

The new schedule announced Monday means walk-in customers will know ahead of time the office will be closed Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, and thus have the opportunity to schedule their work time at the Recorder’s Office accordingly.

Huff said this week she had been trying to maintain hours as normal as before, “but it’s caught up with us.”

She stated she apologizes for the inconvenience of being closed two afternoons weekly.

Clinton County Commissioner Kerry R. Steed said the schedule change will provide more consistency to the office’s open hours and, as such, will in that respect accommodate customers better than the present setup.

The new hours, he said, can accommodate the needs of the customers as well as the needs of the Recorder’s Office and its staff.

“I think that’s a smart move on Brenda Huff’s part to make consistent hours,” said Steed.

As reported in November, county commissioners learned during a budget discussion with Huff that she is considering potential legal action against the Clinton County Board of Commissioners regarding the staffing issue.

Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.

County Recorder Brenda Huff Recorder Brenda Huff News Journal file photo

By Gary Huffenberger