|The Macomb Daily|
|Tuesday, June 21, 2011|
|O P I N I O N|
Clerk's Office deserves credit for years of 'good government' service
Winning good government awards lets us know that Macomb County residents are getting their money's worth from the efficiency and convenience provided by the county Clerk's Office.
This year, the Clerk's Office won all six of Macomb's awards from the National Association of Counties.
In the past, Macomb has dominated the state's 83 counties by winning dozens of NACo awards since Clerk Carmella Sabaugh took office in 1993. She credits her staff and especially her deputy clerk, Todd Schmitz, for many state-of-the-art improvements. This was accomplished despite the Clerk's Office having experienced a reduction of 20 workers and a budget cut of nearly $1 million since 2008.
NACo awards are given out annually for innovative programs that are placed in a national database for other counties to share. Macomb was the state's leader in these awards for 26 consecutive years until 2008.
The Clerk's Office/Register of the Deeds won one of the awards for creating a website that makes it easier for the public to follow online campaign money funneled to political candidates. Another award was given for creating an online Register of Deeds entry book for property transactions.
Macomb also won good government awards for upgrading the process of granting concealed weapons permits; for using the Google "Checkout" to streamline online credit card fee payments for county services; for preserving history by providing text-searchable county Board of Commissioners' minutes and resolutions online from 1924 to the present. It won for creating online how-to videos for services offered on the Clerk's Office website and on the YouTube channel.
Sabaugh and Clerk's Office employees deserved to be commended for a job well done. County Executive Mark Hackel said Sabaugh and her staff "demonstrate that Macomb County government provides good service, and they help make our county a great place to do business."
Many other innovative programs initiated during Sabaugh's tenure include the posting of a list of politicians who owe campaign finance violation fines and overnight delivery service for vital records and court documents.
The Clerk's Office uses a competitive bid system for election supplies that has saved more than $500,000. It also helped start up a personal protection order assistance center to help victims of abuse.
It provides free bus service to people summoned for jury duty and offers wireless Internet access for jurors waiting to be sent to courtrooms.
Macomb County Commissioner Chairwoman Kathy D. Vosburg said, "As we work to make government more efficient, I admire Macomb County Clerk Carmella Sabaugh's ability to continue providing many examples of good government."
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