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Sedgwick County Clerk

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    Kelly Arnold

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    Kelli Reid

Biographical Information

What are the responsibilities of a county clerk and how does the clerk work with the other county officers, including the county commission?

Why do you want to be county clerk, and what are your qualifications for the job?

What are the top issues or priorities for you if elected?

How important is it for county officials to work together in a positive and professional manner? What would you do to ensure that happens?

If elected, what would you do to be accessible for public input and to keep residents informed about what is going on in the county?

Personal Biography A fifth-generation Kansan, born and raised in McPherson, and graduated from Tabor College where he played soccer in Hillsboro and has been a member of the Sons of the American Legion Post 366 for over 20 years. Kelly moved to Wichita and began his career in the financial service industry and public service. Kelly volunteers with Kansas Optometric service to humanity providing eye care services to those in need. Kelly is a member of the Pathway Church.
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Education Business Finance – Tabor College, Hillsboro KS Business Management – Tabor College, Hillsboro KS Certified Master County Clerk – KCCEOA, Wichita State University
Community/Public Service Chairman – Kansas Public Employees Retirement System Leadership Wichita, Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce USD 259 School Bond Oversite Committee Wichita Area Metropolitan Planning Organization Chairman Emeritus – Kansas Republican Party Pathway Church Director of Community Bank
The County Clerk has multiple duties; Clerical-Clerk to the Board of County Commissioners, records and maintains official minutes of meetings, maintains all contracts and resolutions of the county, maintains the official County seal and attests signatures of county commissioners on documents; Budgeting & Taxation-assists smaller taxing entities with budget preparation annually, prepares annual tax roll and sets and certifies levies, maintains special assessments and calculates July and November abstracts of valuation and taxation. Unfortunately my opponent quotes some incorrect information from our budget pages and doesn’t understand many of the duties we perform. My experience and management will keep this office performing high quality services in the appropriate manner.
I am committed to providing efficient and transparent government. My office is responsible for maintaining the real property transfer record for the county and with more than 260,000 parcels, my staff processes over 74,000 real estate transactions each year. I have spent my career in the finance industry and have served as Sedgwick County Clerk since 2008. I have earned my designation as Certified Master County Clerk administered through the WSU Hugo Wall School of Public Affairs and I am a current member of Kansas County Clerks and Elections Officials Association. I have assembled the best customer service staff in the courthouse and I am proud of our reputation for providing high quality assistance for Sedgwick County residents and taxpayers. As a fiscal conservative, I have returned over half a million dollars to the taxpayers.
My office has digitized over one million individual property records. These records have been organized, cataloged and placed into a searchable electronic database which is accessed by the public for property ownership research. THIS IS TRANSPARENT GOVERNMENT. Prior to my leadership, this information was only available by coming into the courthouse and doing the courthouse shuffle to go between departments to view deeds and transfer dates of ownership. My opponent seems to want to run all the other departments at the county, I am committed to fulfilling the statutory duties of the County Clerk, where my position is mentioned more than 1,000 times in the statutes.
I believe in working together in a positive and professional manner. I worked on the elected officials committee last year as we developed a new mission, a vision and values for Sedgwick County. All departments worked together to bring the employees, management and elected officials together with one cohesive direction for the public. I will continue to work forward with these goals and objectives for my office.
My office partners with the county manager's office and communications department to provide current and resourceful information for Board of County Commission meetings and notifications to other local governments and residents. Our Commission meeting minutes are taken verbatim, everything spoken at the meeting is typed word for word for open and transparent government. This ensures the public sees the actual transcription of events of the public meetings. These meeting recordings are available on video and approved minutes are posted to the county’s website. I maintain all public comments, written or emailed as well as testimony is included in the public record.
Personal Biography Kelli Reid is an educator, communications professional, and nonprofit administrator with a background in student government leadership and advancing diversity in STEM education and research. She received her B.A. in Education from Ottawa University and will receive her M.P.A. from Wichita State University in Spring 2021. She is a mother, wife, and Kansas-native who is driven by a connectedness to others, the desire to give back, and an unwavering commitment to protecting public trust.
Campaign Phone (316) 302-5125
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Education Master of Public Administration - Wichita State University (expected graduation May, 2021). Bachelor of Arts, Education - Ottawa University (2000).
Community/Public Service Kelli has served as a volunteer for community events and organizations, presenter at national conferences, led community-service and service-learning programs, and enjoys participating in local-area clean up days.
The County Clerk represents all residents of Sedgwick County. Their responsibilities are entirely administrative and non-political, and they serve as the secretary of the Board of County Commissioners. They keep records of County business, meeting minutes, resolutions, and decisions. In essence, the County Clerk is the direct link between government and the residents of Sedgwick County.

The Clerk also administers property taxes based on the mill levy and maintains land records and transfers of property. They manage property tax appeals, disaster relief for property damage, and help residents prepare Homestead Property Tax refunds, which requires a close working relationship with the Appraiser, Treasurer, and Register of Deeds.

In Sedgwick County, the Clerk provides leadership to about 12 staff and manages a $1.3M annual budget. In 2020, the Clerk’s office is projected to process 150,000 transfers of property ownership and administer $38.5M in special assessments spread to tax rolls.
I am running for County Clerk because I believe the people of Sedgwick County deserve a choice in who they elect to represent them. We must challenge the status quo, diversify systems of power, and remove hyper-partisan political influence from administration.

My qualifications include being a business owner, licensed real estate agent, and nonprofit administrator. I have a background in education, communications, and advancing diversity in science. I have managed budgets over $8M and a team of 220 employees, and have led organizations through restructure, strategic planning, assessment, and financial crises.

I’ve also served as a mentor for the next generation of public servants, taught open meeting law and parliamentary procedure, and worked with boards of educators, students, and scientists from all over the country. I am trained in conflict resolution, local government law, and will receive my Master’s degree in Public Administration from Wichita State University this spring.
My top priorities are to restore public trust, increase transparency and accountability, and foster leadership and opportunities for success. The issues I will work for are:

1. To ensure a more broad and diverse distribution of information about the work of the County and highlight decisions that impact residents.

2. To increase the timeliness and transparency of agendas and minutes of the Board of County Commissioners' meetings.

3. To create or strengthen opportunities and programs for first-time homebuyers and increase awareness about financial relief available for existing property and small-business owners.

4. To provide opportunities for college students to apply classroom learning in real-world environments like the Clerk’s office.

5. To ensure officials and staff are empowered to lead by providing training, tools, and resources necessary to perform their jobs, increase programs that acknowledge hard work, and promote alignment around the vision and goals of the County.
It is imperative that elected officials work together in a positive, professional manner in order to achieve common goals and objectives. We must empower each other to take the lead, to continually learn and improve, and to encourage critical thinking to solve the challenges we will face together. Trust in government is at an all-time low nationally and locally. I believe residents must see in our words and our actions, that government leaders can be trusted to act in a manner consistent with the public interest.

What I would do to ensure the most productive environment is to first develop a relationship with each elected official. It is through trust and connection that we can truly be productive. Occasionally, leaders become so impassioned that they lose sight of what’s important and the value of compromise. I would encourage my colleagues to remain open to different perspectives, to question their own thinking, and offer tools to help overcome conflict and resolve differences.
To me, this question represents the primary purpose of the County Clerk’s role. Being accessible, keeping residents informed, and encouraging involvement and participation are among my highest priorities. I believe one of my greatest strengths is my ability to connect with people, and I intend to use that strength to make government more accessible and available to all.

If elected, I will work to make sure members of the community are fully aware of what’s coming up on meeting agendas and always feel welcome and invited to lend their voice. I will also ensure meeting minutes and decisions are accurately recorded, represent the sentiments expressed, and are delivered in a timely and transparent manner. Because the Commission also serves as the Board of Health, the information made available about public health concerns has never been more important. One thing COVID-19 has taught us is, the time is now to stay fully informed and get involved in decisions that impact our community.