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Kittitas County Clerk

The county clerk is the administrative and financial officer for the state superior court of the county and is responsible for court records, including entry of all orders, judgments and decrees issued by the court.

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  • Candidate picture

    Karen Bowen
    (Rep)

  • Candidate picture

    Brian Cullinane
    (Rep)

Biographical Information

What is your record of public service?

What qualifies you for this office?

What is your experience with handling records as required by law?

What are the three most significant issues facing the office of Clerk?

How would you handle them?

Party Preference republican
Phone (509) 257-3000
Experience (Max 500 characters) Currently the interim County Clerk since 03/2022. k Worked in the Clerk's office for the past 10 years , 7 of that as Administrative Assistant. Having a "Working Clerk" is a must in our small office.
Campaign Mailing Address PO BOX 582
ELLENSBURG, WA 98926
Campaign Phone 509-257-3000
Campaign Email karen@karenforclerk.org
Town where you live Ellensburg
Interim Kittitas County Clerk (2022) Administrative Supervisor, Kittitas County Clerk’s Office (2015-2022); Deputy Clerk, Kittitas County Clerk’s Office (2012-2015); Tax ULID Deputy, Kittitas County Treasurer’s Office (2007-2012); Bookkeeper
We’re a small, efficient team of dedicated professionals. The Clerk’s position is not simply a figurehead. As Clerk, I am actively involved in the day-to-day work of the office. During my tenure, I have done every job in the department. This has provided me the technical knowledge to fill in where needed. I am the only candidate running for this position that won’t require years of extensive on-the-job training.
It has been my honor to serve as your Interim Kittitas County Clerk. I have served ten years in the office and prior to my appointment, I ran the day-to-day operations for the past seven years.

The County Clerk’s office is responsible for preserving the integrity of the Superior Court record, clerking court proceedings, managing evidence and documents, processing protection orders, and more.

1) Legal advice vs procedures, ( lack of Court facilitator) 2) Keeping up with all the constant law/legislation changes 3) Office Space to accommodate the growing customer service needs
I’m running because experience matters. I have already implemented changes that have improved employee morale, office efficiency, and customer service. Many of our customers visit our office at a low point in their life but I will ensure we continue to always treat the with dignity and respect. I ask for your vote to continue serving you as County Clerk.
Party Preference REPUBLICAN PARTY
Phone (509) 859-2995
Experience (Max 500 characters) I have extensive experience providing Government services to the Citizens of Kittitas County. I am the only candidate that has experience expanding access and hours, reducing expense to the taxpayer while being innovative and improving the citizen experience. My business, Ellensburg Licensing utilizes the documents created by the Clerks office in our day-to-day operations, utilizing similar government standards in document preservation and retention as well as fiscal management.
Campaign Mailing Address PO BOX 1732
Ellensburg, WA 98926
Campaign Phone 509-859-2995
Town where you live ELLENSBURG
I have served my community extensively over the past 20 years of living in Kittitas County. I have served on the (Kittitas County –(KC) Planning Commission, the KC Elected Officials Salary Advisory Committee, the Ellensburg City Board of Adjustment, 17 years on the Kittitas Valley Hospital Foundation , the Cle Elum/ Roslyn Chamber Board, co-moderated candidate & Olympia Day forums for the Ellensburg Chamber. I am a member of the American Legion Post 8. I have 20 years’ experience working with our legislative delegation at the local, State and Federal levels on behalf of our community on such issues as ag, water, property rights, Central Washington University funding & other community needs. My business – Ellensburg Licensing provides Government services - vehicle and vessel licensing as well as fish and wildlife services and has become the preferred choice for these services in Kittitas County.
Ellensburg Licensing the business I own, utilizes the documents of the Clerk’s office in our day-to-day operations. As with the Clerk’s office our office has extensive document processing & retention requirements as mandated by the State of Washington. Our office has a fiduciary responsibility as we collect millions of dollars each year for the State of Washington, and we collect several hundred thousand dollars each year on behalf of Kittitas County. I have extensive leadership experience working with the elected officials and staff of Kittitas County – I am the only candidate in this race that has experience working with State agencies, State and Federal elected officials on behalf of our community and it’s citizens. As the candidate for elected office – I have demonstrated the ability to manage employees, build teams, be innovative in providing government services in such a way that is more efficient, lowers the cost to the taxpayer and improves the citizen experience.
I have over 25 years of dealing with contracts and meeting the stringent document retention requirements set by the State of Washington and other jurisdictions. On a daily basis on behalf of the Department of Licensing my office Ellensburg Licensing processes Titles and other ownership documents from across the United States & Canada primarily. As a part of this work, we frequently require documents from various local, State and Federal Agencies, including most of the documents generated by the Clerk’s office, such as Estate related documents, name changes, divorce decrees, Civil Judgments, Power of Attorney documents, protective orders, just to name a few. We also deal with the Department of Revenue, the State and Federal Departments of Transportation, U.S. Customs, the Department of Health among others. All of our work is subject to public information requests and the guidelines set by the RCW’s. Focus and care is required because mistakes can affect vehicles in other States.
There are a lot of issues facing the Clerk’s office - The three that are most apparent in my opinion are: The number one issue that will face the office is the demand that will be brought about by the growth in population. There will be a greater demand for services, greater demands on the Courts that the Clerk’s office provides services for, greater demand for archiving and providing archived documents to citizens and others that need documents from proceedings handled in our County. Maintaining timely access and document processing with greater demands will be a challenge. The second most pressing issue the office will face is requirements brought about by legislation, regulations, and unfunded mandates primarily from the State of Washington and other law-making jurisdictions. The third most pressing issue will be balancing technology and providing the ease of doing business while protecting the privacy of the individual in an ever increasingly connected world.
Dealing with population growth and the demand it creates - Staff training and retention will have to be a key component of being ready for increasing demands on the office. Utilizing technology to improve efficiencies in workflow processing and seeking best practices and learning from larger counties that have already experienced significant demand for services will greatly help. The second area I spoke of is the increased demand brought about by legislation specifically unfunded mandates. I have the extensive experience working with legislators, government agencies and other stakeholders to minimize the impact to our community. My opponent doesn’t have this skill set. The third issue was that of providing greater access through technology to our citizens while safeguarding personal information. I currently serve on a Dept. of Licensing committee, where a significant portion of our work is related to privacy and technology. I will use that knowledge in the Clerk’s office.