Vail Daily column: Eagle County Clerk and Recorder 101
May 1, 2017
"What does the Clerk's office do again?" This is a question I get when I tell people I am the Eagle County Clerk and Recorder. Unlike Sheriff or Treasurer, the office title is not self-explanatory and may leave people wondering when they use the Clerk's services.
If you are an Eagle County property owner, motor-vehicle owner, special-event organizer or voter, then it's likely you've required the Clerk's services. If you've needed a marriage license or disabled parking placard, then you've also come to the Clerk. Our office touches most full-time residents, some second-home owners and even visitors to our valley.
Services defined by Colorado Constitution
There are only two duties assigned to the County Clerk in the Colorado Constitution. The first is as the Clerk to the Board of County Commissioners. In this role, our office supports the board by recording, transcribing and preserving the records of their proceedings for perpetuity.
The second is as the "ex officio recorder of deeds." Translated from legalese, this means the Clerk is responsible for filing and maintaining all county real estate ownership documents. Such documents include deeds, mortgages, liens, foreclosures, etc. In addition, this department issues marriage licenses. All of these documents, dating back to 1883, are available for public search. In 2016, our three-person recording team added more than 22,500 documents to the public records, and the pace is not slowing down in 2017.
Additional services offered
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Motor-vehicle services are not a part of the constitutional responsibilities of the Clerk but were added in Title 42 of the Colorado Revised Statutes. With close to 60,000 registered vehicles in Eagle County, this department is a large part of our operation. As an agent acting on behalf of the Colorado Department of Revenue, we title and register all vehicles that reside in the county. We are responsible for collecting statutory fees for distribution to many state, county and town entities. In 2016, our 11-person motor vehicle team processed more than 89,000 transactions and answered 32,500 phone calls. As our county grows, so do the demands on this department.
The Clerk's office also maintains the county voter registration list and runs coordinated, primary and general elections for more than 30,500 active registered voters. This responsibility is delineated in Title 1 of the Colorado Revised Statutes. Election season never stops in our office. When we are not actively running an election, we are meticulously performing maintenance to our voter records and preparing to administer the next election.
Last but not least, we oversee liquor licenses for unincorporated Eagle County. This is a dual function of the state and local government. If your restaurant is located, for example, in El Jebel or Edwards, you need a license that is coordinated by our office. If your nonprofit is hosting a fundraiser serving alcohol in those unincorporated areas, the Clerk's office will review and process your special event permit.
Customer-facing staff in our Avon, Eagle and El Jebel locations accomplishes most of this work. If staff is not helping in-office customers or answering the phones, there's a mountain of back office work that keeps the Clerk's office humming all day long. It's a complex and busy office I am proud to lead.
As your County Clerk and Recorder, I strive to provide these very diverse services in an efficient and responsive manner. I am always looking for progressive and innovative ways deliver high-quality service, balancing your needs with statutory compliance. I welcome your questions and feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Regina O'Brien is the Eagle County clerk and recorder.
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