Innovation in bellwether Larimer County

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams visited with the Larimer County clerk and board of commissioners during a visit to Fort Collins last week. They are, left to right, Commissioners Tom Donnelly and Lew Gaiter, Williams, Clerk and Recorder Angela Myers and Commissioner Steve Johnson. (SOS photo)
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams visited with the Larimer County clerk and board of commissioners during a visit to Fort Collins last week. They are, left to right, Commissioners Tom Donnelly and Lew Gaiter, Secretary Williams, Clerk and Recorder Angela Myers and Commissioner Steve Johnson. (SOS photo)

When Wayne Williams was elected El Paso County clerk and recorder in 2010, he visited the clerks in Larimer and Weld counties before he took office.

At the time, Williams was a county commissioner and had heard from the Larimer and Weld commissioners and their residents “about the quality of their clerks and the operations they ran,” he said.

Williams, now the secretary of state, returned to the Larimer County clerk’s office in Fort Collins last week as part of his goal to meet with clerks statewide to see what issues they face and how his office can help.

“We spoke about the quality of support from the secretary of state and his office,” Larimer County Clerk Angela Myers said. “It definitely feels like a partnership, and that is for the good of the entire state.”

Read moreInnovation in bellwether Larimer County

Hand counting, grave digging and moose watching in Walden

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams with Jackson County clerk and assessor staffers Wednesday in Walden. From left to right: Clerk Hayle Johnson, Deputy Tammi Gonzales, Assessor Kerry Moran, Deputy Clerk Margaret Caul and Deputy Assessor Wendy Larsen. (SOS photo)
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams with Jackson County clerk and assessor staffers Wednesday in Walden. From left to right: Clerk Hayle Johnson, Deputy Tammi Gonzales, Assessor Kerry Moran, Deputy Clerk Margaret Caul and Deputy Assessor Wendy Larsen. (SOS photo)

All Colorado county clerks issue marriage licenses, but Jackson County’s clerk goes one step further.

“We do the marrying and the burying,” Clerk Hayle Johnson said.

The county owns the cemetery in Jackson County so the clerk’s office helps with funerals, arranging with the road-and-bridge department to have the grave dug and then closed up.

The clerk also keeps the cemetery deeds, so plots are purchased at the office.

In addition, the three-member clerk’s office also handles elections, payroll, document recordings, liquor licenses, motor vehicle registrations and takes the minutes of the commissioners’ meeting.

That’s why arranging for road department to bring heaters to get the ground to thaw for a funeral might take  priority over meeting an election deadline, Johnson told  Secretary of State Wayne Williams on his visit to Walden Wednesday. But she added she couldn’t do the job without the help of the elections staff, particularly Josh Johnson.

Read moreHand counting, grave digging and moose watching in Walden