Davis County leaders weigh splitting Clerk/Auditor’s Office
Photo supplied, Davis County Clerk/Auditor’s Office
FARMINGTON — Davis County leaders are mulling big change to the Davis County Clerk/Auditor’s Office — separation of the office’s main functions, thus creating a new office.
County commissioners are to discuss the proposal at a work session on Thursday and may follow up with action at a special meeting after that. The end result, if officials OK the change, would be a County Clerk’s Office and a County Auditor’s Office, each headed by a separate elected official.
Curtis Koch currently serves as the clerk/auditor, first elected to the post in 2014, and he supports the decision to look into the matter. The workload on both sides of the office has increased the dramatically since he’s been in office.
Such a split has been a focus of on-and-off behind-the-scenes discussion among county officials, spurred in part by Davis County’s growing population and growing demands on the office, according to County Commissioner Randy Elliott. During the Davis County Commission’s regular meeting on Tuesday, County Commissioner Bob Stevenson proposed the special meeting to discuss the topic.
Stevenson also proposed discussion on the notion of changing Davis County’s form of government, moving from the commission form. That too will be discussed at Thursday’s work session, set to start at 2 p.m., though it’s not on the agenda for the special meeting that follows at 3:30 p.m.
Elliott, speaking Wednesday, said Davis County’s increasing population — from 306,479 in 2010 to 362,679 in 2020, according to U.S. Census Bureau figures — figures in the talk of splitting the clerk/auditor’s office. The growing population creates increasing demand for services.
He also noted the controversy following the 2020 presidential vote, with some across the country clamoring about fraudulent voting, though experts have not substantiated any significant irregularities. The clerk functions of the clerk/auditor’s office include election oversight while the auditor functions focus on managing and overseeing county spending and budgeting.
The clerk/auditor’s post comes up for election in 2022, so Elliott said officials are taking up the matter now so they have time to properly notify the public about the two posts that’ll be on the ballot later this year, should they move ahead and split the office. Commissioners are vested with the authority to separate the office, should they choose to.
Utah County officials voted last December to separate clerking and auditing functions into two separate offices, as Davis County officials are now considering. Voters there will pick officials for each post in elections later this year.
At the time, Utah County Commissioner Bill Lee noted Utah County’s growing population. With the increasing numbers of people, “I am confident that all county residents will benefit from the special focus that our new clerk and new auditor will provide to these two offices,” he said.
Elliott doesn’t foresee action on the notion of shifting from the three-commissioner form of government in Davis County. Such change has been discussed in Weber County and was the focus of a 2019 ballot question. Voters, though, overwhelmingly rejected the proposal to implement a different county government format and Elliott doesn’t sense clamoring for change in Davis County.
“I don’t know if there’s as much interest in that,” he said.
Stevenson didn’t explain the factors behind his request to discuss changing Davis County’s form of government when he brought it up at Tuesday’s Davis County Commission meeting. He didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.