After three months on the job, Dawson County Clerk of Court Justin Power says he’s where he belongs.
“I’ve found this job to be absolutely rewarding. I love it,” he said.
Power was elected in August to fill the unexpired term of Becky McCord, who resigned amid a legal battle over missing funds.
Since taking office, Power has implemented several policies for the handling of funds.
“We’re requiring dual signatures on checks, not just one signature anymore,” he said.
A woman that specializes in government audits also visits the office monthly to oversee accounts.
“She’s another set of eyes, an outside source, and she’s very pleased with the route we’re taking and with what we’re doing,” Power said.
He’s also started cross-training his 10 employees and offering additional training to those who do specific jobs within the department.
“Things are constantly changing, so I’m trying to keep us up to date on what’s going on, the new trends,” he said.
In the coming months, he hopes to add a Web-based records service, which would allow visitors to buy a subscription to view real estate, civil and criminal records online.
“I’d love to be able to say we’ll do this soon, but with budget restraints and our economic condition, I don’t know,” he said.
He said funds collected from passport fees could go toward the system.
Power acknowledged there have been challenges that he’s tackling “one at a time.”
“The biggest challenge has been getting my arms around every facet of this office, because there are so many different things — civil, criminal, real estate, passports, trade names, there’s just so much — to wrap your arms around and know,” he said.
Taking office in summer, Power missed the state’s required clerk of court training, which he plans to attend later. He has, however, gone to supplemental classes.
He’s also taking advantage of the state’s network of clerks.
“I have 158 clerks at my disposal,” he said. “Every surrounding county clerk I have called on probably two to three times a week at least. That is a great resource.”
Power said he plans to continue the educational process that goes along with any new job.
He’s also looking forward to the opening of the new courthouse.
“The transition is going to be a task, but it’s going to be fun, too,” he said. “It’s going to be nice to have the space and everyone together in the same building.”