Tussle over clerk’s territory

Name tags and beverages sit on the empty Converse County Commissioners' and county clerk's desk in Douglas. (Zach Miners photo/The Glenrock Independent)

Mary Stewart, mary@glenrockind.com
The Glenrock Independent

Glenrock’s social media exploded for a day when Converse County Treasurer Joel Schell announced  his Glenrock satellite office would no longer accept title work for the clerk’s office.

And, on the treasurer’s Facebook page, he quickly laid the blame at County Clerk Karen Rimmer’s feet – so Rimmer shot back that Schell had overstepped his authority in the first place. Meanwhile, residents posted angry messages aimed at the clerk, who is running for re-election against Kacy Jo Hladky – which turned the situation into a political hot potato by week’s end.

“This decision was shared via a notice on the county treasurer’s Facebook page and it unfortunately caused some confusion and anger of some Converse County residents,” Rimmer said. “Part of the confusion on social media pertained to citizens thinking that I was closing the Glenrock office, which is not the case.”

Schell defended his decision on how the announcement was worded and naming Rimmer because “they wanted people to know who made the decision.”

“It will be the treasurer’s office employees that will bear the brunt of the complaints,” Schell said. “I wanted to make it clear that it wasn’t the treasurer’s office decision.”

Schell explained that for a number of years, the part-time Glenrock office had accepted paperwork for the clerk’s office.

Although this wasn’t something that the current, or former, county clerk had asked of the treasurer’s office, it was a service that Schell decided to perform for them without consulting them.

Rimmer said the problem isn’t providing a service to Glenrock residents, it is that the treasurer’s employees are not trained to handle the paperwork correctly, but the clerk’s staff is.

“Most times there is a dialogue needed to ensure the customer is meeting all requirements and getting paperwork processed in the manner they need to,” Rimmer said.

Often, paperwork collected by the Glenrock office would either be incomplete or there would be no contact information provided if the clerk’s office needed to speak to the person who submitted the paperwork, she explained.

“This is not the first time the treasurer has been asked to stop accepting paperwork on the clerk’s behalf,” Rimmer said.

Social media posts targeted Rimmer and some unnamed staff, with some claiming that Rimmer “doesn’t care” for residents in Glenrock or Rolling Hills and should be voted out of the office. Some quickly shared the posts with comments about voting for Hladky.

Schell denied that there was any political motivation behind the announcement on Facebook.

“It became difficult to give a viable reason why paperwork can’t be accepted,” Schell said.

Hladky said she has had no contact or support with Schell regarding her campaign for county clerk.

“I don’t know the whole story so I’m not sure her (Rimmer’s) decision was the right one,” Hladky said.


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