OpenCDA

March 2, 2011

Press Release from Cliff Hayes:

Filed under: General — mary @ 4:02 pm

Here’s the Press Release sent to us from the County Clerk’s office.  The cover letter said something quite interesting:
“We’re sending this out to you directly because the mainstream media has chosen to disseminate nothing on our division’s recent progress, and Cliff promised transparency during his campaign for this office.  We plan to issue press releases monthly.”

Kootenai County Clerk’s Progress:  Serving Customers & Increasing Internal Controls

Six weeks into office, Kootenai County Clerk Clifford T. Hayes is cautiously optimistic.  “We’ve taken several steps to better serve customers”, Hayes said.  “We’ve met with taxing district representatives, learned what they want us to do better, and agreed to supply them with more information.  We’ve extended work hours to include Saturdays from 9AM to 2PM to serve County Assistance clients and to process passport applications in the Recorder’s office, starting March 5.” 

Hayes reminded voters that school bond levy elections will be held March 8 from 8AM to 8PM.  Absentee voting requests are available online or from the Elections office.  In-person absentee voting starts today through March 4, and is available at the Elections department, or at the administrative offices for the Coeur d’Alene & Post Falls school districts.

As for progress with internal controls, former bank auditor Jim Simmerman is continuing to review cash-handling procedures across all County departments.  “Many procedures are thorough so far, though we’ve recommended changes in a few areas,” Hayes said.  The State Controller’s office is sending two people from Boise March 7 – 11 to examine the Clerk’s division policies and procedures. Hayes continued, “The FBI turned down our request to investigate the account involved in the theft allegations.  They thought further action was unwarranted, since one police agency had already completed an investigation.”

On his 16th workday in office, Hayes implemented a “whistleblower policy” in his division.  Its intent is to prevent adverse actions taken against an employee who communicates the existence of any waste of public funds, property or manpower; any violations of law; or who gives information in an investigation or court proceeding.

“We’ve established an important expectation with this policy:  for all employees to report concerns, while we ensure no one is punished for speaking up”, Hayes said.   “Taxpayers need to know we have procedures to avoid fraud.  We didn’t feel we could wait”, Hayes noted.

For further Information contact:

Clifford T. Hayes, Kootenai County Clerk

208/446-1651 or email: chayes@kcgov.us

 

7 Comments

  1. Mary,

    It is no surprise that none of our local or regional news/views/skews media have wanted to inform the public about the remarkable progress Cliff Hayes has made in cleaning up the Kootenai County Clerk’s Office operations. The public will reasonably and quite correctly wonder why our alleged newspapers had not been paying attention to anything other than the Corrupt d’Alene social scene and real estate market. Judging from the feedback we get via email, it appears the public is beginning to understand that a lot of public officials and our alleged newspapers have been spray-painting the town with rose-colored paint rather than printer’s ink.

    I do wonder what the real reason was for the FBI turning down his request for help. I’m guessing that decision was not made exclusively by the FBI but had some political involvement from the US Attorney’s office in Boise if not Main Justice in Fantasyland-on-the-Potomac.

    Comment by Bill — March 2, 2011 @ 4:41 pm

  2. Yep, not a wonder so many people just can’t see the sun. Stinks all the way to those toe tappin’ bathrooms ..

    Comment by Stebbijo — March 2, 2011 @ 6:29 pm

  3. that’s why they call it “foggy bottom”. Not really, but its sure is applicable. What a twist …that’s irony.

    Comment by Ancientemplar — March 2, 2011 @ 7:53 pm

  4. To paraphrase Season 2, Episode 18 of Southpark:

    Local political power brokers: Let’s just hope the press doesn’t get wind and finds out about the problems that the new County Clerk has discovered about the way “things were handled” in the past and what is being done to correct them!

    Newspaper owner(s): Stand back, staff, there is nothing to see here! Just move along, put some nice photograph on the front page, and let everyone know that all is well in our quaint town. Immediately!

    Comment by Happy Trails — March 3, 2011 @ 12:40 pm

  5. Maybe the newspaper was so shocked to get a press release from the County Clerk that they didn’t know what to do with it. Maybe they’ve never had this kind of communication from the Clerk’s office under it’s former inhabitant, Dan English, and didn’t realize this type of transparency could exist. I hope they wake up and make plans to print the next update. We will continue to do so right here.

    Comment by mary — March 3, 2011 @ 1:35 pm

  6. Thanks for the update, Cliff.

    Comment by Taryn — March 3, 2011 @ 5:09 pm

  7. Just a note: The Spokane blog has apparently been whining that they should have been included in the County Clerk’s distribution of the Press Release. They were. The Clerk’s office sent the info to both the Spokesman and the Press, neither of which printed it.

    In a wise move, the Clerk’s office also sent the Press Release to a whole list of other outlets, one of which was OpenCdA. That’s a great effort at transparency…thank you Mr. Hayes.

    Comment by mary — March 5, 2011 @ 10:04 am

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