Scott announces retirement as county clerk

Print Article

SANDPOINT — Bonner County’s unofficial fourth commissioner is bowing out.

Bonner County Clerk Scott, one of the longest-serving elected officials in county history and one of the few remaining Democrats in office in the Panhandle, announced she is retiring as of July 1.

Scott was hired as a deputy clerk in 1996, stood for election in 1990 and took office in 1991. She’s withstood six contested elections since then.

During her 27 years in office, Scott earned a reputation as being the commissioner’s fourth member due to her expertise with county finances and her influence over financial decisions.

It’s a label that’s been applied derisively or affectionately, depending on who’s applying it.

Scott said her decision did not come out of nowhere.

“A lot of people think that, but it’s not something that I just decided overnight. I’ve been thinking about it for a long time.”

Although Scott has drawn criticism for her advocacy of a statewide practice of inter-fund transfers to cover financial shortfalls and has often been at odds with Commissioner Mike Nielsen, she insists recent events are not behind her decision to retire.

“He doesn’t have that much power,” Scott bluntly said of Nielsen.

Nielsen has unabashedly urged the board to exercise more involvement and control over financial matters, which stands in stark contrast to some former commissioners whose contributions to the budget process consisted of nodding in agreement and deferring to colleagues who actually read and understood the spreadsheets.

Scott was in her 30s when she helped the county segue from manual, paper-based record keeping for court and land documents to computer-based methods. The state is now contemplating a new era of records management for the courts and recorders’ offices.

The Secretary of State, meanwhile, is giving counties a glimpse of technological changes affecting how elections are conducted.

“Stepping aside at this time will provide the new energy necessary to carry these changes forth. The county will be better served in the long run,” said Scott, who just turned 64.

Scott’s party will nominate three Democrats to complete the rest of her term and the county commission will appoint a successor. The clerk’s position is up for election in 2014.

Scott said she will miss the camaraderie among the clerks in her department, which she likened to a family rather than an assortment of coworkers.

“With the clerk’s position there’s no ‘good time’ to do this,” she said.

If Scott simply let her term expire, her successor would still have to hit the deck running and be prepared to conduct an election within 30 days of taking office.

Nevertheless, she does not intend to leave fellow department heads in the lurch. Budget workshops are being set and a preliminary budget will be drafted by the time she steps down.

It’s doubtful whoever succeeds her will be as versed in all the duties clerks in Idaho are charged with, which includes auditing, recording, elections and district court matters.

“But I’ve got 44 deputies out there that are very, very capable in carrying forth their duties and their responsibilities. Whoever comes in just needs to listen and learn,” said Scott.

Print Article

Read More News

Robot delivery gets green light

March 28, 2017 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press Idaho is now the second state — Virginia was first — to have officially approved the use of delivery robots in public spaces. The legislation, which passed easily in the state House and Senate and ...

Comments

Read More

Laughing Dog Brewing wins label honors

March 28, 2017 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee PONDERAY — Dogzilla Black IPA is one of the winners of the category in the USA Today 10 Best Readers’ Choice travel award contest. The Laughing Dog Brewing label finished seventh in the contest. In ...

Comments

Read More

Geezer Forum explores downsizing

March 28, 2017 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee SANDPOINT — The art of downsizing will be the focus of today’s Geezer Forum. The forum will be held in the Community Room in the Columbia Bank building, 414 Church, from 2:30-4 p.m. Geezer Forum i...

Comments

Read More

CASA seeks advocates for local children

March 28, 2017 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee SANDPOINT — Child Protection Service petitions in Idaho are up 11 percent statewide and 19 percent in North Idaho from 2015 to 2016. The Bonner and Boundary CASA program needs more volunteer advocate...

Comments

Read More