Editor’s Note: The following letter/editorial, authored by Judith “JJ” Jamison was submitted just prior to her scheduled departure date. Jamison was elected the the clerk an recorder spot in the summer of 2010.
Outgoing Clerk and Recorder Speaks Out
When you walk into an office with the phone and computer on the floor, Policies and Procedures in disarray, little institutional knowledge, none for Elections, and the staff believing you are going to fire them on day one you must literally begin from the ground up…that takes time. Did I make some mistakes? Admittedly. Was I making the effort? Absolutely! The Recall Committee called me and set an appointment to meet. I was looking forward to speaking to adults who would allow me an audience without leveling accusations and yelling. They cancelled that appointment via email letting me know they were moving ahead with the Recall Petition.
Most people would say “last, but not least”, I say first and foremost I thank my staff for their dedication to the citizens of Teller County, their loyalty and friendship to me, and their courage to go the distance as far as I could take it. I wish to thank the County Departments that have so generously cooperated with this office. Even if I successfully withstood a Recall Election the County Administration would continue to render me ineffective. I want to see this office move forward.
I wish to thank those citizens who have called, emailed, and sent me cards and letters of encouragement and support, which have held me strongly in place, and helped me hold my head high. I know that you understand my need to step away, and on to other adventures. That being said I issue you a call to action. If you accept what you have always gotten you will continue to get what you have always accepted. If you object to the business practices of your County Commissions don’t tell me. TELL THEM!
The following observations and comments by others:
Everyone in Teller County recognizes the name of “JJ” Jamison. Her commitment to our community is evident in her volunteer activism from the Pikes Peak Rotary Club, Girl Scouts, Junior Achievement, Salvation Army, Community Cupboard and Prospect Home Care and Hospice. She was elected as our Teller County Clerk and Recorder; she was the choice of the Republican Party.
Prior to her election “JJ” had just completed 25 years as a Financial Planner, and CFP with Ameriprise Financial Services. She successfully sold her practice with the desire to commit 100% of her time and energy to the citizens of the county that is her home; to serve them in a different capacity. We believe her skill set is one that compliments the office of Clerk and Recorder.
Citizens are often not aware of the responsibilities of this office. The scope is broad from Department of Motor Vehicles, Recording, Vital Statistics (handled by most counties in the Department of Social Services), Elections (in 64 counties there are 64 ways of running Elections…it is a style and technique opportunity), and working with the Treasurer and the Assessor with the Board of Equalization, and on and on.
While the buck stops with the leader, without skilled staff for the delegation of duties there can always be breeches in the system.
“JJ” was investing in the future. The fiber of her commitment, and dedication to serve never waivered. She did her best, with the best intentions at all times. “JJ” believes without a doubt, that this office is better now than when she began. Mistakes made were utilized for learning and improvement. Transitional leaders do not often continue when the energies of major change have taxed the system and culture. Some of those improvements include and are not limited to: The branch office in Woodland Park is now open during the noon hour to better serve the citizens, a regular informative article in the paper entitled “Clerk’s Clues”, more effective cooperation with other Courthouse Elected Officials, an open door policy for citizens with responses directly from the Clerk for concerns and complaints, the extension of the Colorado Quilt Council’s Colorado Midland Trails Quilt Block project (one in each location), the successful application (with the County Facilities Department) of a $17,795 Americans with Disabilities Accessibility Grant for the Woodland Park location (completion expected soon with hopeful expansion to include the Courthouse), and others. “JJ’s” vision may not be complete, and she regrets she will not be part of its continued development and improvement.
Distractions from constant critiques to the grief of living through a possible recall make it necessary for her to step aside. One wonders if the energy of the Republican Party and her fellow Elected Officials would have been better placed to assist in her success, Teller County may have achieved the Clerk and Recorder desperately needed. Teller County Government is losing a very gracious public servant, and we are confident that her contributions to our community will prevail.
Thank you, “JJ” (Jamison)