“City Government 101” is an ongoing series that debuted in April 2023 and highlights different aspects of municipal government as it pertains to Columbus, Nebraska, in hopes to provide information on how the City of Columbus operates.
Every City of Columbus department head was recently asked some questions in regard to their department, the current fiscal year budget and plans for their department in the upcoming fiscal year (Oct. 1, 2023-Sept. 30, 2024).
DEPARTMENT: Clerk’s Office
DEPARTMENT HEAD: Janelle Kline
(Interview conducted in September 2023)
Q: How many people are in your department?
Q: How long have you been head of your department?
A: Since December 2012.
Q: How do you think things went for your department in fiscal year 2022-2023?
A: I’d say that overall things went quite well. We were able to keep up with our everyday responsibilities and meeting preparations in addition to the extra tasks of purging, scanning, and packing for the move.
Q: What were at least two of your department’s biggest accomplishments in the last fiscal year and why?
A: 1) We scanned all ordinances and resolutions (permanent records). The documents are now searchable and we can avoid handling very old documents that have become brittle. 2) We completed a full update of the City Code and have sent to the codifiers for processing.
Q: What are some of the problems your department faced in the last fiscal year and how did you overcome them?
A: The recording equipment for meetings was not completely installed in the new building; however, we were able to adapt by using cellphones.
Q: What are at least 3 major things you’re wanting your department to accomplish in fiscal year 2023-2024 and how is the new budget going to improve that?
A: 1) Update office procedures and work flow. Processes have changed with the new set-up of staff as well as new permitting software. Budget is not affected. 2) Fully train staff in preparation for my retirement. This will require an additional person with extensive training for the new person as well as for a current staff member who is fairly new to the office. The budget will provide funds for specialty training in the municipality field, particularly training for clerks.
Q: What can the public expect from your department in the next fiscal year?
A: The public can expect the same professional, courteous service they have always received from our office.
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