HENNEPIN — Putnam County’s clerk says his two offices won’t be able to properly run after the county board cuts his staff.
Monday morning, the county board voted to terminate one clerical hire from the clerk and recorder’s offices as of Aug. 1 to help with the county’s financial woes.
“I’m very upset,” said clerk Dan Kuhn to the media after the meeting.
There was an estimated $428,427 deficit for the general fund when the county board approved this year’s budget back in November.
Kuhn runs two separate offices — the clerk’s office and the recorder’s office.
Right now, there’s only Kuhn and two other employees total for the clerk and recorder offices.
So, there will only be Kuhn and one other employee as of Aug. 1.
With all the responsibility the offices have, there’s no way the work will be able to get done, Kuhn said.
The offices conduct and administer elections, keep vital records and are the location where land records are filed, among other duties.
Kuhn mentioned there are upcoming elections — the primary will be in March 2020 and the presidential election will be in November 2020.
Kuhn called the board’s decision “totally ridiculous” and said the decision will end up costing the county in the end because of the work that will get backlogged.
Board chairman Steve Malavolti didn’t have a figure available for how much the county will save by cutting this employee. The county’s budget states the chief deputy clerk’s salary is about $30,000 and the deputy clerk’s salary is about $28,800.
About a month ago, the county board amended its budget and cut about $78,355 from its general fund. That cut included laying off two employees — a deputy clerk from the circuit’s clerk’s office and a part-time employee in the probation department.