Duties returned to Curry County clerk

By Vanessa Kahin

vkahin@cnjonline.com

Four weeks after the county commission told County Manager Lance Pyle to help oversee the recording, indexing and personnel matters at the county clerk’s office, a decision has been made to leave this task to County Clerk Rosalie Riley and Chief Deputy Aleta Tittle.

The decision was read by County Attorney Steve Doerr after the County Commission held an executive session at the courthouse following a regular meeting at the Clovis-Carver Library.

“Effective July 16, 2014, the county commission and the county manager are no longer overseeing the recording and indexing of documents and they are not responsible for any errors or problems with the clerk’s recording and indexing.

“The responsibility of accuracy, recording, and indexing is 100 percent with the County Clerk, Rosalie Riley, and Chief Deputy, Aleta Tittle,” Doerr said.

“It’s the only right thing to do,” Riley said following the reading of the decision. She noted that the county clerk’s position, along with the commission seats, are all elected positions.

“I have as much power as they do,” Riley said of the commissioners. “They don’t have any control over me.”
Riley said it was the voters who elected her as clerk, and it is the voters whom she serves.

Following the meeting, Pyle said the county commission had instructed him to oversee personnel and recording matters in the clerk’s office on June 24.

The decision followed a series of complaints about recording mistakes made by Riley’s staff.

Pyle had brought in Georgia Hailey — who had worked in the office in the area of recording for several years — to help train the office’s staff members.

Hailey and Pyle said some of the equipment in the office needed to be repaired or replaced, which Pyle took care to do.

Hailey said some of the office employees were willing to be trained, some were not. Pyle said Riley “made it clear that she did not want any assistance from Ms. Hailey.”

Pyle said that on July 17 he contacted the commission and requested that Hailey no longer visit the clerk’s office unless Riley asked for her assistance.

Earlier Friday morning, the commissioners gathered for a regular meeting and discovered there was one essential factor missing from their agendas: The minutes from the previous meeting.

Riley noted that she believed the recording of the minutes was one of the tasks taken away from her.

“The order from the commission was very broad and vague,” Riley said following the executive session. “We were told that we were not doing any recording.”

Doerr said the preparation of meeting minutes continued to be one of Riley’s duties.

“The clerk needs to have the minutes prepared for the next meeting,” Doerr said. “All the minutes that should have been on today’s agenda need to be on the first meeting in August’s agenda for your verification,” he said.

Commissioner Wendell Bostwick noted that state statute demands the availability of minutes; furthermore, the public has the right to access meeting minutes, he said.

“I just don’t want a letter from the Attorney General (because we’re) not in compliance of the statute,” Bostwick said.

Bostwick made a motion to approve the agenda, with the understanding that the minutes will be available during the next commission meeting.

Commissioners Tim Ashley and Ben McDaniel were not present during the regular meeting.
They participated telephonically during the executive session.