By Carol A. Clark
Los Alamos County Clerk Janet Foster is not seeking re-election and may be the last clerk to work on a part time basis.
The idea of making the County Clerk position fulltime and salaried came as a result of the local Charter Review Committee’s government structure research work.
State requirements are expanding the duties of the clerk to the point where the move may be necessary to keep up with demand.
This issue is scheduled to go before County Council June 12. County Council Chair Sharon Stover’s term ends Dec. 31 and she is running for County Clerk.
Stover said this morning that she will recuse herself from any action related to the Clerk’s Office.
Asked whether she would accept the fulltime job if elected, Stover said, “I would cross that bridge if it comes up but it’s so premature at this point – there are so many issues involved.”
Stover is running unopposed in the June 5 Primary Election on the Republican ticket. She faces Democrat Nathan Hjelm in the General Election this fall.
Hjelm is employed at Los Alamos National Laboratory and could not be reached for comment.
The Los Alamos County Clerk’s Office is responsible for recording and filing public documents, issuing marriage licenses, registering voters, administering elections, is Clerk to the Probate Court and maintains official documents for the County Council such as ordinances and resolutions.
The County Clerk’s Office works closely with the Secretary of State’s Office and operates under Federal Law, New Mexico State Law and the Los Alamos County Charter for the conduct of all elections.
The County Clerk’s Office records deeds, mortgages, leases and other real estate documents.
In fact, any legal document can be filed in the County Clerk’s Office.
The Office of the Probate Judge is located within the County Clerk’s Office.
As ex-officio clerk of the Board of County Council, the County Clerk is responsible for recording and maintaining the minutes of all meetings of the County Council.
As custodian of these records, the clerk maintains and stores these minutes, along with resolutions and ordinances, all of which are available for public inspection and/or purchase.
Also, the Los Alamos County Charter allows for any registered voter of the County to commence initiative, referendum, or recall proceedings by filing with the County Clerk an affidavit and circulating and filing a petition in accordance with the requirements of the Charter.