Friday, August 22, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Provenza opposes consolidating assessor’s office with clerk/recorder

By
From page A1 | October 24, 2013 |

A plan to consolidate Yolo County’s assessor’s office with that of the clerk/recorder received preliminary approval from county supervisors this week. An ordinance combining the two elected offices will return to the board for a vote next month.

But the proposal — which would take effect at the end of 2014 when the current elected office-holders complete their terms — does not have the support of all board members.

Supervisor Jim Provenza of Davis voted against the plan on Tuesday because of concerns that the elections office — currently part of the clerk/recorder’s office — would either get lost in the consolidation or end up losing its autonomy.

Provenza said combining the assessor and recorder offices makes sense because both deal primarily with real property.

Currently, the assessor sets property values while the recorder’s office files and maintains public documents associated with land transactions, including sales, liens, purchases and easements.

“They are a good fit to have in one department,” Provenza said.

But it’s the elections component of the clerk/recorder’s office that gives him pause.

In addition to a number of other duties, the clerk serves as registrar of voters, registering all voters in the county and maintaining the voter files. The clerk also verifies petitions, files campaign statements and conducts elections in the county.

Provenza said one of the busiest times for the clerk is during June elections, which also happens to be the busiest time for the county assessor, who is required to produce an annual assessment roll.

“I wouldn’t want elections to be a second fiddle,” Provenza said.

An alternative plan that was floated — and that is used in some other counties — would keep the registrar of voters separate, run by an appointed department head. But that has drawbacks as well, Provenza said.

“Having that person be independent is really important,” he said. “I think it’s important that there not be the perception that either the board or (county administrator’s office) have influence over the elections office.”

Currently, 26 counties in California have a combined assessor/recorder office and 16 of those counties have added the clerk duties as well. Eight have added the registrar of voters, according to county staff.

Counties that have consolidated report saving money and improving customer service.

Santa Barbara County, for example, initially saved $182,000 by eliminating management positions, offset by $28,000 in increased salaries and management restructuring. At the same time, the county reduced the lag time between property transfer and appraisal by two weeks, staff reported.

Yolo County’s savings would depend on how salaries are structured, staff said, but would save a portion of the current clerk/recorder salary of $116,066.

Supervisors are expected to vote on a Yolo County consolidation at their next board meeting on Nov. 5. As currently written, the ordinance would combine the assessor, recorder and clerk — including the registrar of voters — into one elected office.

Current office-holders Assessor Joel Butler and Clerk/Recorder Freddie Oakley will be up for re-election in June and their terms expire at the end of 2014.

Oakley said last month that she will seek re-election whether the offices are consolidated or not; Butler said he had not decided whether he would run again, and the consolidation proposal “could have an impact on that decision.”

— Reach Anne Ternus-Bellamy at aternus@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8051. Follow her on Twitter at @ATernusBellamy

Comments

comments

Anne Ternus-Bellamy

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    No easy task: History buffs still trying to save building

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    DHS musicians back from summer in Italy

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    City to overhaul its sprinkler heads, other water-wasters

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Davis indecent-exposure suspect pleads no contest

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

     
    Not-guilty plea entered in Woodland homicide case

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

     
    Russian aid convoy reaches war-torn Luhansk

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Parents’ Night Out features Vacation Bible School

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Afternoon tours of city wetlands resume Sept. 6

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Yolo County golf tournament enters fourth year

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    Putah Creek Council appoints new executive director

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A3

    Communitywide ice bucket challenge on Sunday

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A3

     
    Prunes take center stage at last agri-tour of the summer

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    In need of food? Apply for CalFresh

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Can you give them a home?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Saylor will meet constituents at Peet’s

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Event will unveil mural celebrating food justice

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Writing couple stops at Davis bookstore

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Explorit: Final Blast show returns for second year

    By Lisa Justice | From Page: A5

     
    Wolk bill would require reporting of water system leaks

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

    Record drought saps California honey production

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

     
    World travelers

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    Seniors set to stroll through Arboretum

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    .

    Forum

    Weightlifters causing a racket

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    No support for militarization

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    A better use for this vehicle

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    Police are our friends, right?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    Wage plan has a big flaw

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    Bridging the digital divide with computational thinking

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

    .

    Sports

    Watney and McIlroy struggle at start of The Barclays

    By Wire and staff reports | From Page: B1

     
    Light-hitting Cats fall

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Giants win nightcap in Chicago

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Watts likes what he’s seen in keen Aggie DB competition

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Sports briefs: Big West soccer coaches have high hopes for UCD men

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8 | Gallery

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

     
    Davis Chinese Film Festival to kick off with 1994 favorite

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    Rock Band campers perform at E Street Plaza

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    Natsoulas to host mural conference

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

    Yolo Mambo to play free show

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    ‘If I Stay’: Existential angst

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11

    .

    Business

    Car Care: Teenagers not driving safe cars, study shows

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    Car Care: Feeling the summer heat? Your car battery is too

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

    Three-wheeled Elio gets closer to going on sale

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A12 | Gallery

     
    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Friday, August 22, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B6