Secretary Williams visits snowy San Miguel County

San Miguel County Clerk Kathleen Erie and Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams in the clerks' storage area in the courthouse, which used to be the jail.
San Miguel County Clerk Kathleen Erie and Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams in the clerk’s storage area in the courthouse in Telluride.

Snow greeted Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams one week ago when he drove to Telluride to meet with San Miguel County Clerk Kathleen Erie.

The visit was one of nine face-to-face encounters with county clerks in a four-day span, primarily in southwestern Colorado. (Six other blogs follow details encounters with the clerks.)

Erie called Williams a “good partner” and said afterward she was glad to talk to him to get an understanding of some of legislation the secretary is backing in the Colorado General Assembly.

The original San Miguel Courthouse burned down and bricks that were salvaged were used to build the new courthouse, which opened in 1888. Like some other older courthouses, what was once the jail is now a storage area for the clerk. The voter service and polling center used during elections is another county building 150 feet down the street.

Throughout the courthouse were signs that read “Happy Birthday, Jessie,” referring to staffer Jessie McConnell, who handles elections and vital records.

Springtime in the Rockies meant snow greeted Secretary of State Wayne Williams when he visited with San Miguel County Clerk Kathleen Erie in Telluride last week.
Springtime in the Rockies meant snow greeted Secretary of State Wayne Williams when he visited with San Miguel County Clerk Kathleen Erie in Telluride last week.

“In some bigger counties, vital records are handled by their health departments but we do it in San Miguel,” Erie said, adding that clerks end up seeing an array of operations, an observation made by other county clerks, too.

Erie won her first primary for clerk in 2010 by a mere 20 votes, but won the general election by 650 votes. She pointed out the county is heavily Democratic. Unlike some of her peers, Erie didn’t work her way up in the clerk’s office. She was a certified public accountant.

Williams also visited the Telluride Daily Planet while in town.

San Miguel County is known for its mountains . tourism and festivals, including the Telluride Film Festival, and the Telluride Jazz Festival.

Colorado county clerks call conferences “extremely rewarding”

San Miguel County Clerk Kathleen Erie and Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams at the Colorado County Clerks Association conference in Fort Collins this month.
San Miguel County Clerk Kathleen Erie and Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams at the Colorado County Clerks Association conference in Fort Collins this month.

By Keara Brosnan

Colorado county clerk and recorders say attending conferences with their back-to-back workshops can be taxing, but they are extremely rewarding.

“I have been to every one since being elected” in 2010, Clerk Kathleen Erie from San Miguel County said. “They play a huge role in keeping us all informed on best practices and law changes.”

The Colorado County Clerks Association hosts two statewide conferences annually. Clerks and their staffs also have the opportunity to attend regional training throughout the year sponsored the association and by Secretary of State Wayne Williams’ office.

The clerks finished their winter conference in Fort Collins last week, which was hosted by Larimer County Clerk Angela Myers. The CCCA’s summer conference is in Arapahoe County Aug. 1-3 and will be hosted by Arapahoe Clerk Matt Crane.

Washington County Clerk Garland Wahl and Morgan County Clerk Susan Bailey at the Colorado County Clerks Association meeting in Fort Collins.
Washington County Clerk Garland Wahl and Morgan County Clerk Susan Bailey at the Colorado County Clerks Association meeting in Fort Collins.

“I have only been a clerk for about a year now, so this conference is valuable to network and learn so much from the other clerks,” said Morgan County Clerk Susan Bailey

Other more seasoned county clerks had a similar response to the winter conference.

“I have been a clerk for 34 years now and I still learn so much new information coming to these conferences,” said Clerk Garland Wahl from Washington County. “Every conference is different and I always learn something new.”

The clerks also found time to compete in a lip sync competition.

Read moreColorado county clerks call conferences “extremely rewarding”