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Clerk/Register Of Deeds
Karen A. Spranger
120 N Main, Mount Clemens, MI 48043
(586) 469-5120

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

June 10, 2015

Macomb County Clerk / Register of Deeds receives six national “good government” achievement awards, bringing total to 59

Macomb County has been recognized with 13 Achievement Awards – the most in the state - from the National Association of Counties (NACo).   Of those, the Macomb County Clerk/Register of Deeds and her staff received six NACo Achievement Awards.

The “good government” awards are issued nationally to recognize county programs that enhance services, improve county management or promote intergovernmental coordination. Another innovation, The National Association of Counties is the only national organization that represents county governments in the United States. Founded in 1935, NACo provides essential services to the nation’s 3,069 counties.

“I am proud of our union staff who worked with me to achieve these awards. These awards show that Macomb County is a place for innovation and good public service,” said the Macomb County Clerk.

This year, the Macomb County Clerk received six NACo achievement awards for:

  • Jury room kiosks - Jury room kiosks let jurors check-in for jury duty and do other clerk services.
  • Election text/email reminders - You can sign up for automatic email or text messages of campaign finance filing deadlines and election dates.
  • Square payment processing - Newly implemented, streamlined credit card acceptance and payment processing, eases the payment process for customers and staff.
  • Online marriage application process - Applicants can apply for a marriage license online, saving time for them in the office and reducing data entry for clerk staff.
  • “Vote-bot” - A robotic “Vote-bot” promotes voter registration at annual voter registration drives by answering election questions and calling attention to the need for voter registration.
  • Real estate fraud alert - Homeowners can sign up to receive an email alert when a document regarding their property is presented for recording, providing a way to detect potential fraud.

Nationally, awards are given in 21 different categories that reflect the vast, comprehensive services counties provide. The categories include children and youth, criminal justice, county administration, environmental protection, information technology, health, civic engagement and many more.

Started in 1970, NACo’s annual Achievement Award Program is designed to recognize innovative county government programs. Each nominee is judged on its own merits and not against other applications received.

The Macomb County Clerk has racked up 59 National Association of Counties Achievement Awards in her tenure as County Clerk / Register of Deeds.  The Macomb County Clerk was recognized by Google as a “Government Transformer.” She put in place innovative programs, including:

  • Has evening hours Wednesdays to ensure people can get personal service if they cannot leave work to visit the clerk’s office during the day.
  • Allowing for immediate scanning of vital records documents with handheld scanners, saving time and physical storage space, and preventing delays.
  • Issuing veteran photo ID cards, allowing veterans to carry proof that they are a veteran without having to carry around their DD214, enabling them to get discounts at participating area retailers.
  • Combining services with the the Health Department’s Animal Shelter at mobile office locations for one-stop shopping, enabling residents to purchase and/or renew their dog license(s) and obtain information about adopting animals, or to receive county clerk services.
  • Posing all past election results, from 1838 to the present, on the Web for anyone to view and search, increasing accessibility and preserving valuable records.
  • Partnering with Google and Xerox to create the Super Index, the nation’s best public real estate search and fraud detection tool.
  • Making it easier for the public to follow campaign money, including searching by individual and business donors, disclosing county and local candidate campaign finance  reports in what has been called, “[T]he most transparent in Michigan for reporting County and local political money.”
  • Creating an online Register of Deeds entry book, called, “The single most important step undertaken by any register in the state to stem the tide of real estate fraud,” by the General Counsel of a major title company.
  • Improving the quality of concealed pistol license permits and reducing the risk of fraud.
  • Using and online payment processing system to streamline online credit card payments, making it easier for customers to pay.
  • Posting online a list of candidate committees that owe fines for campaign finance violations.
  • Preserving history by providing text-searchable County Board of Commissioners minutes and resolutions online from 1924 to the present.
  • Creating online how-to videos, which explain services to the public on the Clerk’s website and YouTube channel.
  • Creating a system to let candidates pay campaign finance fines online.
  • Using competitive bids for election supplies, saving taxpayers over $500,000.
  • Switched to Google Apps for Government e-mail and collaboration software implementing secure Cloud Computing.
  • Offers pagers to waiting jurors to shop with most costs paid by local businesses.
  • Accepts credit card payments, making paying for services easier.
  • Provides overnight delivery service for vital records and court documents.
  • Allows concealed weapons permit applicants to check their application status online.
  • Provides wireless Internet access for jurors waiting to be sent to a courtroom.
  • Offers a business name and death record lookup on the Internet.
  • Provides free library book delivery to jurors waiting to be picked for a trial.
  • Offers public real estate documents online.
  • Offers a mobile branch office bringing clerk’s services to local communities and one-stop shopping with the Michigan Secretary of State.
  • Provides free bus rides to people summoned for jury duty.
  • Launched a toll-free 24-hour fax-on-demand system providing forms and info.
  • Helped start a Personal Protection Order Assistance Center to assist victims of abuse.
  • Gives high school students a chance to “learn and earn” by hiring them as election inspectors.

Photo of Macomb County Clerk / Register of Deeds, (D - Warren, MI).

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