Barmore seeking second term as Chautauqua County clerk

Larry Barmore

Chautauqua County Clerk Larry Barmore has announced he will be seeking re-election to a second term as county clerk.

Barmore, a former legislator who was elected to three terms in the county Legislature, was a business owner for more than 40 years prior to being elected county clerk in 2013.

“My experience as a business owner overseeing the general business operation, and more than 40 years of experience managing employees, proved to be vital experience during my first term as county clerk,” said Barmore. “With the veteran staff and a slew of retirements I inherited when I took office, we’ve replaced just around 50 percent of our staff.”

Barmore acknowledged having so many new employees has been both a blessing and a curse as he’s been able to implement new procedures to improve efficiencies with an emphasis on enhancing customer service; he’s also lost a wealth of experience.

“We’ve spent the better part of the last three years hiring, training and making changes in every sub-department, from the three DMV offices to the main county clerk’s office, weights and measures and our records management department,” said Barmore. “With the retirement of the Jamestown DMV supervisor at the end of June, we now have new supervisors in both the Jamestown and Dunkirk DMV offices, as well as a new director of weights and measures, all within the last three years.”

In addition to the re-staffing in every department, Barmore made a much-needed move of the Jamestown DMV office to a location with better parking and a better design to serve customers, as well as provide significant savings to the taxpayers of Chautauqua County.

“With the assistance of Vince DeJoy and others from the city of Jamestown, we found a new location for our DMV office that would help ease the parking complaints of our customers and also provide for a better flow of foot traffic inside the office,” said Barmore, noting the new lease also provided a savings of approximately $9,000 from the previous location. “I was able to negotiate a lease that would save us money and personally designed the office to provide for the best possible service for our customers. We’re also working with the new DMV supervisors and veteran supervisor of the Mayville DMV office, Barb Lucariello, on ensuring all three DMV offices are consistent in their application of the state DMV regulations. We want to make sure every customer gets the same great service from every DMV office.”

In outlining his accomplishments, Barmore also noted he plans to begin e-filing Supreme Court documents beginning in August.

“We started electronically recording land records in January 2014, a project initiated by my predecessor, Sandy Sopak, that was implemented the first month I took office. Since that time, we’ve been working with New York State Office of Court Administration (OCA) to allow electronic filing in Supreme Court in Chautauqua County and that is finally set to start this year. OCA notified us at the beginning of the year that we are scheduled to begin offering that service Aug. 16,” said Barmore.

Other changes Barmore made include adding signage at the Mayville office to help direct customers to where they need to go, ATM machines in the DMV and county clerk’s office for added convenience for customers and county employees, and a survey in all three DMV offices to let staff know where they’re doing well and where they’re falling short. Barmore has also been working on implementing credit card acceptance at the county clerk’s office.

“Our DMV survey has probably been one of the most helpful tools. Customers can go onto our website and complete a short survey to let us know about their experience,” said Barmore. “We realize sometimes people just need to vent. Sometimes they’re angry because they couldn’t complete what they went there to do because of state regulations, but sometimes they have a legitimate complaint. I can’t fix something I don’t know is broken and I can’t be at five locations at the same time, so I’m thankful when people tell me about their experiences, good and bad. We’ve had more positive feedback from every office than negative over the last three years this has been in effect, but I’m really thankful for both.”

In discussing his reason for seeking a second term, Barmore noted there’s still more to do.

“I spent so much time setting up the Jamestown DMV, hiring and moving staff, we’re finally in a position to tackle some of the long-term issues that will help secure our records for future generations, clean up some of the old problems from 30, 40 and 50 years ago that still plague us today and make improvements to our procedures. I’m excited to improve on the foundation we laid in my first term,” Barmore concluded.