The Clerk-Recorder’s Office is an integral if little known part of county government. For the past 20 years, the office has been under the leadership of Julie Rodewald who retires in January.
Two veteran employees of the office, Tommy Gong and Amanda King, are vying to replace Rodewald in the Nov. 4 general election. The Clerk-Recorder serves a four-year term.
Gong is second-in-command in the office and oversees various administrative duties including the office’s $3.1 million budget, special projects and software implementation.
“Ten years ago, Julie hired me as her number two person in the office,” Gong said. “I want to maintain that continuity in the office.”
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Before coming to San Luis Obispo a decade ago, Gong was elections manager for Stanislaus County for two years. In the next four years, the Clerk-Recorder’s Office will see several significant improvements in technology and recordkeeping that will increase efficiency, Gong said. These include a new voting system and a statewide voter registration database.
“Whoever is going to be the next Clerk-Recorder will have to handle those important upgrades,” he said. “I have the most experience and qualifications to do that.”
King is a deputy clerk-recorder who started work in the office the day before the 2006 general election. She said she immediately fell in love with elections and made it her goal to one day run the office.
King agrees that technological updates will be an important challenge for the office. She has had experience in implementing auto-indexing and upgrading precinct training to Power Point software.
“I grew up with technology,” she said. “Our staff needs a leader who communicates well and is open to new ideas.”
It also is important to understand that the Clerk-Recorder’s Office is more than just running elections and maintaining voter registration records, King said.
The office also keeps vital records such as birth, death and marriage certificates; keeps property records; maintains fictitious business name statements; maintains minutes and other records of county boards; issues marriage licenses and performs wedding ceremonies.
“It is vital to have a Clerk-Recorder who has had experience in all aspects of the office,” King said. “I have been lucky enough to have worked in all of those positions.”
The position pays $135,657, plus benefits. The office employs 22.