County Changes Process for Choosing New Clerk-Recorder

The Orange County Board of Supervisors on Friday significantly expanded the process of interviewing potential candidates for the vacant position of county clerk-recorder.

Although board Chairman Shawn Nelson had been pushing for an expedited process that would have quickly whittled down nearly 900 applications for the open slot, Supervisor John Moorlach on Friday led his colleagues to expand the process.

Under the new procedure, each supervisor will submit up to 20 candidates. From that list, the chairman will remove duplicates, which is expected to halve the total. Each board member will then select five candidates from the list and duplicates again will be eliminated, leaving about a dozen applicants to interview.

Supervisors expect to interview the final candidates in one day.

There was no staff report on the issue attached to Friday’s special meeting agenda nor any mention of action.

The position was left vacant after the previous officeholder, Tom Daly, was elected to the Assembly in November. In the meantime, Renee Ramirez, the assistant clerk-recorder, has temporarily taken over.

Ramirez was recently endorsed by Daly to be his successor.

"She's a Republican and she's a Latina and the board should do the right thing and hire her," Daly told Democrats at a luncheon last week, according to the The Orange County Register.

Of nearly 900 applicants for clerk-recorder, only about 100 were qualified for the job, according to officials.

Supervisors on Friday also asked county staff to gather information on how to combine the public administrator with another position, such as clerk-recorder.

The clerk-recorder is responsible for keeping the county’s official records of property ownership, births, marriages and deaths. The office also issues marriage licenses and keeps track of business names.

You can reach Nick Gerda at ngerda@gmail.com, and follow him on Twitter: @nicholasgerda.

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