County clerk poised to cut staff positions

Mesa County Clerk Sheila Reiner, heeding the needs of law enforcement, has drawn up a Plan B budget that could save as much as $150,000 that could be devoted to law enforcement.

Such savings would come at a price, though, Reiner said.

The clerk and recorder’s office would lose four employees and customers would have to go downtown to transact business they couldn’t or wouldn’t do electronically.

The plan, however, also would bring remaining staff in her office to the pay levels outlined in a salary classification study that the commission sought and has yet to make public, saying that it is incomplete.

Reiner put together her Plan B proposal that would cut her budget by 5 percent after learning that the sheriff and district attorney are seeking additional funds.

“We have the leanest sheriff’s and district attorney’s offices in the state,” but boosting spending there means cuts elsewhere, Reiner said Monday.

That could mean closing the motor-vehicle offices in Clifton and Fruita and funneling those customers to the downtown Grand Junction office.

Many could renew plates by mail, but frequently don’t, Reiner said. About one third of the people who fill the DMV lobby “are simple renewals that could easily be done online,” Reiner said.

The Fruita office now handles 6 percent of the clerk’s business, processing an average of 1,487 transactions each month on a two-day-a-week schedule. The Clifton office sees an average of 5,561 transactions each month, 23 percent of the clerk’s business.

“I still get compliments about Orchard Mesa to this day, so I don’t doubt that my phone will light up” if she has to carry out Plan B, Reiner said.

Using just the downtown office would require more parking and a speaker system, Reiner said.


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