MD: Macomb County Clerk’s Office receives national recognition for first time in four years

The Macomb County Clerk & Register of Deeds Office recently won four Achievement Awards from the annual National Association of Counties, the first NACo recognition in four years.

The office, under the director of Clerk Fred Miller, won awards for its senior hotline in the Human Services category, centennial farms program in Arts, Culture Historic Preservation, and Clerk’s corner intranet and virtual Clerk’s Office in Administration and Management.

Miller said in a news release the Clerk’s Office has come “full circle” following the tumultuous tenure of former clerk Karen Spranger, who served for 15 months following her 2016 election victory before being removed from office by a judge in March 2018.

“The last national attention this office received was for Karen Spranger’s nutty antics,” Miller said. “It is gratifying that the office is once again receiving national recognition for excellent public service. This is a significant milestone in a remarkable turn-around story.”

Miller took office after winning the final two years of Spranger’s four-year term in a special election in November 2018 and is up for re-election this year for a four-year term.

The 2020 awards are the first for the Macomb County Clerk & Register of Deeds Office since 2016. Under the long tenure of prior clerk Carmella Sabaugh, the office won 65 NACo awards, typically winning multiple recognitions each year.

The NACo Achievement Awards are issued nationally for programs that enhance clerk’s offices’ services, improve county management or promote intergovernmental coordination. Awards are given in 18 categories. There are more than 3,000 counties nationwide.

Twelve 2020 NACo Achievement Awards were received by various departments in three Michigan counties: Macomb, Oakland and Midland. Macomb was the only clerk’s office in the state to win an award.

“I salute the hard-working men and women of the Macomb County Clerk & Register of Deeds Office who have been through so much,” Miller added. “These awards are the result of the efforts of a strong team of great people with whom I am privileged to work. Recognition by a national association of our peers reminds the country that Macomb County is a place for innovation and excellence.”

Macomb County also won an award for implementation of its cyber security program.

The Virtual Clerk’s Office was created to maintain service during the COVID-19 pandemic. County residents received uninterrupted remote service, and county workers were kept safe, productive and accountable, Miller said.

The senior hotline provides Macomb County seniors personalized attention through traditional phone service, web-based assistance, satellite locations, community outreach and in-home visits, according to officials.

Under the centennial farms effort, the county provides more than eight million images within the Register of Deeds’ databases, historic documents to commemorate and recognize centennial farm owners in Macomb, officials said.

The office’s intranet program was developed to keep the its 90 employees connected, providing a central site for essential department documents and information while providing a way for team members to provide feedback.

— Macomb Daily staff report

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