The Roundup -

Two Candidates Vying for Richland Co. Clerk & Recorder


Kari Sinks

Tuesday, June 5th, Richland County voters will have a chance to vote for party representatives to be voted on for the general elections on November 6th. It is the primary but for offices where all candidates are representing the same party, like Clerk and Recorder this year, June 5th is it. Two different but worthy candidates are running for Clerk and Recorder. Stephanie Verhasselt is Richland County's current Clerk and Recorder. She was born and raised in Sidney and moved back to work after taking several business classes at MSU Minot and DSU Dickinson. She first ran for Clerk and Recorder in 2010 after eight years of working in the office. She said, "The previous Clerk and Recorder was undecided if she was going to run and I felt, as Chief Deputy, I had a good idea of what was expected and that I could do the job." Two terms later and she still loves the job. She feels the job is challenging, rewarding and the staff is great to work with. Stephanie also feels she is experienced and confident enough for the job but told me, "There is always something new and different tasks assigned, and changes made in laws that affect the office and the Clerk and Recorder needs to stay on top of it." She feels she can continue to bring a good understanding and knowledge of the laws, rules, and policies a Clerk and Recorder would have to work with.

Kari Sinks is the other candidate. She grew up in Savage, Montana and attended Williston State College. She got an Associate degree in Applied Science with focus on being a Legal Administrative Assistant . After college she moved to Billings for a year, then back to Richland County to marry Gary, her high school sweetheart. She has not run for an elected office before but seems confident in her ability in promoting herself. She has worked for Richland County before, though, in the Accounts Payable position. At the time Stephanie Verhasselt was her supervisor. When I asked her about her time serving in the position she said, "I enjoyed it and miss it." I also asked Kari what she thought of the position of Clerk and Recorder. She said she likes a good challenge and there is a lot of responsibilities involved in it. She wants to try it.

Stephanie Verhasselt

Traditionally the Clerk and Recorder's office is responsible for many things such as recording of documents, payroll, claims, assisting the public when looking up records, birth and death certificates. All of these things the Clerk and Recorder needs to have knowledge of and be able to do and answer questions on. The Clerk and Recorder is also responsible for entering budgets, and tracking them, the annual financial report and making sure it is submitted with all the proper reports and forms, and working with the auditor throughout the year. The Clerk and Recorder is the clerk of the County Commissioners as well.There is more, however. Richland County's Clerk and Recorder also handles the elections, is the county's Human Resources and serves as an unlicensed county surveyor. It is a big job.


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