County Clerk’s Corner: With the election over, we can look ahead

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By Joan Kincaid

I would like to take this opportunity to extend warm wishes to each and everyone this holiday season. May your hearts be filled with love, peace and happiness. It has been an honor serving as your County Clerk these last six years and I have many fond memories of good times, special friendships and a great sense of accomplishment for all the goals that have been met.  
I would like to thank my deputy clerks for all their hard work and dedication to this office and the citizens of Owen County.
We have some scheduled closings coming up due to computer system outages statewide. This office will be closed Dec. 22, 24 and 25 for the Christmas holiday and Dec. 29, 31 and Jan. 1 for the New Year’s holiday.
As always, I thank you for your patience and cooperation. This time is used by the state to do their end-of-year processing. We will be back in the office Jan. 2, 2013 ready for a new year and all of its challenges.
Remember that we do sell hunting and fishing license and they would make a nice Christmas gift for the sportsman on your list.
Now that the election season has ended, I can now begin to prepare for 2013 in the county clerk’s office. First, my attention must turn to the 2013 budget to be presented to the fiscal court at the Dec. 11 meeting.
Finding the resources needed to run this office and meeting the needs of the county is quite a challenge sometimes. The county clerk’s office runs off the fees we collect for transfers, licensing vehicles and recording documents. Normally in January and February, we get off to a slow start due to the cold weather and people paying off their Christmas bills. March and April are busy due to the large amount of farm tags, weighted tags and boats due for renewal. The unpredictability due to hard economic times adds to the challenges of operating the Clerk’s office. I put a lot of thought and work into the budget and try to keep things running smoothly. I think there will be little change in the 2013 budget compared to 2012. Of course, I hope that an upward amendment will be needed for receipts.
Determining the outlook for 2013 is not a simple task. Many factors will affect what fees we will have to operate on. However, none will be bigger than the economy.
Are you planning on purchasing a vehicle in 2013? If so, be sure to tell the dealer you want the transfer to be done in your county of residence. Keep our fees at home by registering in your home county.
In 2013, county clerk’s offices across the state will be faced with a state change called (KAVIS) that offers faster upgraded software for motor vehicles.
I expect the new system changeover to be difficult even with the states planned strategies to prepare us for the 2013 go live. They tell us the critical part is having time to practice, practice and more practice with the new software.
It will be tough to find one hour each day for each deputy to practice on the new software, but all the time and effort will be worth helping to establish a new level of precision and consistency in the county clerk’s offices throughout the state.
Thanks again for being very special and I look forward to serving you in 2013.
My staff and I wish you a happy holiday season and may God bless each and everyone.