New temporary clerk’s office opens Monday - Bonner County Daily Bee: Local News

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New temporary clerk’s office opens Monday

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Posted: Friday, February 8, 2013 10:00 am

SANDPOINT — The temporary Bonner County Clerk’s Office is slated to have a new short-term home by Monday.

Deputy clerks have been housed at the former Mountain West Bank space near the corner of East Superior Street and South First Avenue since 2011 due to the extensive remodeling under way at the Bonner County Courthouse.

A new long-term tenant is poised to fill the bank space, forcing the county to shift the temporary space to the former Department of Motor Vehicles building on First near Pine Street. The former DMV building is just north of the Bonner County’s Prosecutor’s Office.

Deputy clerks will be at the former bank space, which is next to Lone Star Mortgage, until 5 p.m. today. By the start of the business day on Monday, the deputy clerks are scheduled to be set up at the former DMV building.

But the move is not without a dose of turmoil.

The move was originally set for the three-day weekend created by the Presidents’ Day holiday, but Commissioner Mike Nielsen sought to complete the move this weekend, a week ahead of the original target date because of the incoming tenant at the old bank.

Nielsen said he was asked by clerk’s office to help oversee the move, although some clerks regard that scenario as doubtful given friction between Nielsen and Clerk Marie Scott, who is away on vacation.

At least two judges questioned the accelerated timing of the move on Thursday morning, causing the original move date to reinstated. However, deputy clerks had by then packed up so much of the office that unpacking it would have been even more burdensome.

As a result, the accelerated date was reinstated.

Some clerks contended that Nielsen was threatening and rude while addressing employees about the abrupt change of plans.

“He just wanted to be in charge,” said one of Nielsen’s critics who declined to be named.

Nielsen, however, denied the allegations and chalked up the criticism to their allegiance to Scott.

“I could give them money and they’d still hate me,” Nielsen said of his detractors.

An email message sent to Scott was not immediately returned on Thursday.

The temporary clerk’s office at the DMV is slated to remain in place until June 19, when the courthouse is slated to be complete.

There have been countless reopening dates identified during the 19-month root canal of the century-old courthouse, although Nielsen said he has been assured by the contractor that the work would be done by then.

“I believe it’s very realistic,” Nielsen said of the date.

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  • Here's What I Say posted at 10:10 am on Sun, Feb 10, 2013.

    Here's What I Say Posts: 1240

    It's possible that once the leases expire the county moves in. But whenever I've gone there, I see the name of private entities on the directory in the lobby. Have they renovated the entry since I was there in Dec. That could provide more office space for the county too. This courthouse renovation has become a big problem all the way around. Too bad they didn't buy another building to house the courthouse and sell the existing one on prime commercial property that could be taxed. But hindsight is beneficial. So I'll let it rest. I wonder what they would do differently with all that has happened?

  • steve-o posted at 10:03 pm on Sat, Feb 9, 2013.

    steve-o Posts: 44

    HWIS: The county did buy the federal building on Hwy 2. It is full to overflowing with county offices, temporary court rooms, holding cells, etc. The county is not renting any space out of it to other entities (that I know of). The former Mountain West Bank building on Superior is not owned by the county, but was leased (at a great discount) temporarily by the county to move the court clerks into while the court is being renovated. The owner of the building has an offer to rent the building long term, and asked the county to vacate so he/she can do so. The former DMV building is owned by the county (and is currently empty since the DMV moved into the Bonner Mall in November), so they are moving the clerks in there until the courthouse is completed (hopefully this summer).

  • Here's What I Say posted at 3:33 pm on Sat, Feb 9, 2013.

    Here's What I Say Posts: 1240

    With the over budget courthouse renovation still unfinished, the country is opening offices all over the place. What is that going to cost taxpayers? Didn't the county buy the federal building? It isn't filled with county offices though so why lease them out to others when you could move county depts. in there?

  • Perki posted at 4:35 pm on Fri, Feb 8, 2013.

    Perki Posts: 619

    “I could give them money and they’d still hate me,” Nielsen said of his detractors

    Is he saying Deputies hate him?