Summit County commissioners interview three candidates for clerk and recorder

Stacey Nell speaks to voters as Kay Robinson waits for her turn during Summit Daily News’ election forum Thursday, Oct. 13. Nell won election to the role but decided to take a new job, so Robinson and others have submitted applications for the open role so the Summit Board of County Commissioners can choose a replacement.
Eili Wright/Summit Daily News

While Summit County Clerk and Recorder-elect Stacey Nell begins her role with Frisco’s town government, the Summit Board of County Commissioners will choose her replacement on Friday, Dec. 9. 

On Tuesday, the board interviewed three applicants who want to lead the Summit County Clerk and Recorder’s Office until voters will get another chance to cast ballots for their own selection during the general election in November 2024. 

Calling the job offer from Frisco an opportunity she “couldn’t pass up,” Nell vacated her successful election to the county role nearly a week after voters picked her to lead the office that oversees elections and public records as well as the administration of laws and services like those for the state’s Division of Motor Vehicles. 

“The role of clerk and recorder is incredibly important,” Commissioner Elisabeth Lawrence said. “It’s important to our community. It’s such a public-facing office, and we want to make sure that we get someone in there that can handle every part of the office and can also work really well with the community.”

The pool of candidates include Kay Robinson, who ran as an unaffiliated candidate for clerk and recorder in this year’s general election, former Breckenridge deputy town clerk Taryn Power and Summit County Assessor’s Office senior appraiser Jenny Wright. 

“The voters just chose someone, but now it’s up to us,” Lawrence said. “We have to think what does our community as a whole, what are they looking for, and what are they expecting of their upcoming clerk.”

Though the clerk and recorder would typically begin their duties in mid-January, the current clerk and recorder, Kathleen Neel is resigning early, so the applicant chosen by the board on Friday will begin their duties on Jan. 1, 2023. 

Kay Robinson 

No stranger to Summit County voters, Robinson received nearly 35% of the vote during this year’s general election. 

After Election Day, Neel promoted Robinson to the role of chief deputy clerk, but she previously served as a deputy clerk for eight years, focusing on duties related to motor vehicles and assisting with elections. She holds an associate’s degree in church leadership. 

“I am an experienced deputy clerk with demonstrated skills in election integrity, supervising administrative personnel and processing public information requests,” Robinson wrote in her cover letter. “I am a valuable asset to the team — dependable, punctual and determined to get the job done.”

Taryn Power

Power spent five years as the deputy town clerk for the town of Breckenridge from 2013-2019 and recently became involved in the nonprofit sector as director of events and marketing for the Summit Foundation and is currently the director of development for that organization. 

She holds a bachelor’s degree in English and obtained certified municipal clerk status from the Colorado Association of Municipal Clerks. 

As deputy clerk, she “assisted with multiple local elections (for both the town of Breckenrdige and Summit County), oversaw liquor and marijuana licensing, managed records … and performed many functions required of the Clerk’s office,” Power wrote in her cover letter. 

Jenny Wright

Wright has worked for county government since 2019 in the Assessor’s Office, where she has completed appraisals for property, oversaw appeals and worked closely with the Clerk and Recorder’s Office on deed transfers, plats and other recorded documents. 

She holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and licenses as a certified residential appraiser and as an AD Valorem appraiser. 

“I began my career on the administrative side of the office working closely with both the Clerk’s Office and Treasurer’s Office,” Wright wrote in her cover letter. “… I possess more than eight years of experience in administration, management, sales and customer service that I acquired at Main Street Station in the hospitality and property management industry.

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