I have served as deputy county clerk under Sandy Sopak for nearly 10 years. Shortly after the two candidates for county clerk began their campaigns, I was approached by both and asked to stay on as deputy. I had a decision to make. If I chose to stay neutral, I would keep my job regardless of who won.
I love my job, I love what I do and I'm passionate about the work at the county clerk's office. I'm so passionate, I've decided to put my job on the line for it. It's that important.
Many people don't realize how diverse and crucial the work is there and think it has no bearing on their life. In fact, it affects every single person in this county, from DMV issues, to credit report issues, divorces, buying and selling homes, historical records and so much more. It is a job that requires strong management skills and experience.
While I believe Mrs. Cornell has experience working with government policy makers, I am wholeheartedly supporting Larry Barmore because the county clerk's job is not a policy-making position, it's a management position. As a successful business owner and operator for more than 40 years, Larry has the proven experience and leadership needed to run the county clerk's office effectively and efficiently. When he was considering running for the job, he came to the office, asked questions about the operation and observed. He's engaged, interested and focused on the work.
It concerns me that Mrs. Cornell readily admits she's never been in the clerk's office, but has publicly stated she will reduce staff, streamline processes and improve technology. Without observing our operation or understanding what our function or technology is, I find this ill-advised, dangerous for the integrity of our important records and extremely costly.
Sandy Sopak has done an incredible job preserving the records and making them more accessible, improving the stigma of the DMV, updating technology and getting staff to work with customers to help them navigate through the system. Now is an exciting time because from that strong foundation we can build. By building we can expand our reach, enhance our services and increase revenue so we can contribute even more money to the county's general fund to lower taxes.
I know what it takes to operate the county clerk's office and I know the person who can do the job extremely well, is Larry Barmore.
I've assisted countless residents with veteran Return the Favor cards, credit report problems, land dispute problems, name changes, do-it-yourself divorces, business certificates and so much more. Now I'm asking the residents, if I've helped you and you feel I provided you with great service, join me in electing Larry Barmore our next county clerk so I can continue the work I've been dedicated to for nearly a decade.
Tracie Kaminski Haskin is a Dunkirk native and resident of Fredonia.