The name is clunky — the Electronic Recording Technology Board. But its importance is hard to overstate — the board hands out grants to county clerks to update equipment that records property records, marriage licenses, mineral rights and more.
At Tuesday’s meeting at the Colorado Secretary of State’s office, the board paid tribute to two outgoing members, Arapahoe County Clerk Matt Crane and Adams County Clerk Stan Martin.
Crane has served as the chairman since the enterprise operation was created through legislation in 2016. The measure also authorized clerks to charge a $2-a-document fee for five years to create a pool of money to help counties cover the cost of upgrades and purchases.
“It’s been fun to get this off the ground, considering where we were,” Crane said.
“I love my husband — we’ll be married 60 years next year. But I don’t know if I want to be home with him all the time,” said Faye Griffin, the outgoing clerk in Jefferson County.
“I’ll miss you all when I’m sitting on a beach next November,” said Hillary Hall, Boulder County’s term-limited clerk and recorder.
“Colorado is the leader in elections. I’m so proud of that,” said Bent County’s longtime clerk, Patti Nickell.
Most of the state’s departing county clerks gathered Saturday night at the Melting Pot in Louisville, where they were feted by the Colorado County Clerks Association. Chaffee County Clerk Lori Mitchell, president of the CCCA, read a letter to her outgoing colleagues.
“Your commitment and sacrifice to your office, staff and citizens of your county is what public service is all about. The county clerk is the hub of the community for connection to their government, and with that came challenges, wonderful memories and a front seat for history,” she said.
“Please remember you will always be a part of us — that our shared experiences and mutual understanding will never dissipate.”
Secretary of State Wayne Williams traveled to the mountains on Monday and the eastern plains last Friday to tout grants county clerks are receiving to help them update and maintain equipment used to record important documents, from land transactions to mineral rights to marriage licenses.
Williams congratulated Eagle County Clerk Regina O’Brien and her staff, who were awarded $23,000 to purchase additional software modules intended to enhance electronic record storage.
“We all know how important it is to electronically preserve document images,” O’Brien said. “We are very, very excited for this addition.”
The money is part of $900,000 that the Electronic Recording Technology Board, created by legislation passed in 2016, has awarded in recent weeks.
“We know there’s a lot of technology in the state that’s outdated,” Arapahoe County Clerk Matt Crane, board chairman, said during a news conference in Eagle. “This gives all counties a chance at having better technology and to be able to push more things to the web to allow citizens to access documents and electronically file.”
Four county clerk and recorders praised Secretary of State Wayne Williams and the Colorado Legislature for working on a solution to help rural counties replace obsolete equipment vital to recording important documents, including land transactions.
Williams said the second portion of their title, recorder, is often overlooked but keenly important.
“For most Coloradans, their biggest investment is the home, the ranch, that we own,” he said. “So making sure those property records are accurate is absolutely critical.”
He met with clerks Stan Martin of Adams County, Pat Daugherty of Cheyenne County, Susan Corliss of Kit Carson County and Corinne Lengel of Lincoln County in Lengel’s office in Hugo on Friday. They discussed the Electronic Recording Technology Board, an enterprise account created by the legislature in 2016.
The board announced Thursday that 15 rural counties will be the first recipients of grants it will be doling out.
Daugherty couldn’t be happier. “We don’t have any extra money,” she said.
“I’ve worked really hard. I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished,” Olson said at the end of the ceremony. “I very often put my work before my personal life and I don’t have any regrets. I felt like that’s what the job required. But I do want to tell my family how much I appreciate their support.”