WILMINGTON — Clinton County commissioners have reduced funds for the County Recorder’s Office after a full-time worker there retired and the recorder declined a commissioners’ proposal that a new hire be shared with two other offices.
“The last option I was given was I keep my two employees, they get no increase in pay and they absorb all the extra duties. Or, I keep my two employees, I go along with the shared employee, and they [commissioners] might consider giving my employees a pay increase. So, basically twisting my arm, backing me in a corner is the way I feel. Not much of an option,” said Clinton County Recorder Brenda Huff.
Huff has worked in the County Recorder’s Office for 18 years, the past dozen as the recorder. During those 18 years, there always were three full-time employees in addition to the recorder, Huff said.
“I just think it’s asking a little too much to share one employee among three offices,” she said.
A statement issued jointly by the county commissioners on Tuesday starts by noting that commissioners and the county recorder had held several meetings during the past few weeks “to discuss the vacating of the full-time position of deputy recorder” due to a retirement.
“Originally, the recorder advised the commissioners she did not desire to fill the position of deputy recorder; however, she wanted a generalist for the office. The commissioners agreed the recorder could replace the employee, but suggested due to limited job duties and workload which included performing receptionist duties, the position should be reduced to a part-time position within the Recorder’s Office, with two other county offices sharing the employee,” said the statement.
“The recorder declined to share the position or to accept the position as part-time. After careful consideration of the information supplied to the commissioners by the recorder during their meetings, the commissioners determined it necessary to reduce the funding for the full-time position,” concluded the commissioners’ statement.
Under the shared-employee proposal, the employee would work in the commissioners office, the treasurer’s office and the recorder’s office, Huff said. She added her understanding is that the employee would report to the board of commissioners, and so she would not have authority over the person.
The three-term recorder has 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.”
In a News Journal interview, Huff said she has attempted running the office before with one person.
The door sign concludes, “Please contact Commissioners Haley, Steed or Woods if you would like to voice your complaints.”
Having three full-time employees along with the recorder is, given the nature of the recorder’s office, the way it’s worked out best, Huff said.
She said the documents her office receives need to be recorded and indexed not only accurately but also in a timely manner. There is a lot of detail that goes into recording a document and it requires a lot of concentration, she added.
More than 200 different types of documents are recorded at the office, said Huff.
At her request, another meeting with commissioners has been scheduled for Monday, July 16.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.