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A Culture of Service - Stacy Lafitte - County Clerk

Article Date: 
28 January, 2011 (All day)

 

Stacy Lafitte is the clerk/auditor for Morgan County.  Lafitte was born and raised in Morgan and with the exception of one year attending Utah State University, has lived here in the county.  She grew up in a small family of her parents and one younger brother.

Lafitte began working when she was only fifteen at Steph’s (then called Jay’s).  She then attended school for one year at Utah State.  Lafitte decided to move to Weber State after this first year and began working at Old Farm Market.  It was here that she met her husband.  Lafitte says, “That’s where I met my husband [at Old Farm Market].  He was working at Snowbasin and I was working at Old Farm.  Trappers Loop had just been opened.  He stopped at Old Farm for a tank of gas, I sold him a burrito, and the rest is history.”  Lafitte and her husband, Tim have two sons.

She then began working for Meridian Publishing where she learned many skills.  She worked in training, human resources, and in customer service for Meridian.  Meridian closed and Lafitte found herself suddenly looking for a new career opportunity.  She found it at the county.  She began work part-time in the clerk’s office in 1996, a position that later turned into full time.  As her skills developed and she gained additional knowledge, she decided that she wanted to further grow her responsibilities.  She ran for the clerk/auditor position in March of 1998.  She ran against Pauline Green, then the current clerk, won the election, and has been serving as the clerk for Morgan County for the last twelve years.  She has run unopposed in each of the succeeding elections.

The office of clerk auditor, in the county, is in many ways the hub of county activity.  They are often the first stop for those looking for help.  The clerk’s office performs many functions.  There are two deputy clerks and one deputy court clerk in the office for which Lafitte has responsibility. 

Leslie Hyde has responsibility for business licenses and accounts payable in the county.  Teresa Lake is the deputy clerk with responsibility for elections in the county.  She also supports the county council by taking notes, providing public notices to actions of the council, compiling agendas and other materials, as well as taking minutes in meetings.  Lake and Lafitte have just finished a busy year of elections in the county.  The clerk’s office organizes the polling locations, recruits and trains the elections judges, programs the machines and ensures that they are tested.  They also provide information to candidates wishing to run and accept filing for positions. During an election year the clerk’s office is election central for the county.  Lake also handles the garbage billing.

Shirlee Wilkerson is the Deputy Clerk for the District court.  The district court holds session in the county on a rotating basis and contracts with the county for clerk services.  The court hears cases in criminal, civil, divorce, domestic, and probate issues.  Wilkerson supports the judges in her responsibilities. 

The clerk’s office is responsible for paying expenses and providing reporting on the county budget and expenditures.  The clerk calculates taxes based on the tax rates and sends out the notices of estimated taxes to county property owners.  She then  manages the Board of Equalization where individuals can appeal the property value set by the assessor’s office.  Lafitte also works with the independent auditor in the county.  

Lafitte expressed excitement at the new council.  She hopes that the county can now move forward and set a new agenda that forges beyond some of the challenges of the past year.  She also hopes that the new council members will take time to understand the structure of the Morgan County government and the responsibilities of each of the elected officials.  By state statute and by the structure of the Morgan County government each of the elected officials has roles assigned to them.  While the council is the overall legislative and executive body for the county, the other offices have designated functions as elected officials.  The new council members are still becoming acquainted with this governmental structure.  Lafitte hopes for a fresh start with the new council.

Lafitte is one of the individuals whose signature was allegedly forged by Garth Day on documents that he then used to open accounts in banks, in most of which the county did not do business.  Some of these banks were out of state.  Lafitte has not yet received the results of the state audit group who is reviewing practices of the county and will make any recommendations for changes based on their review.  Many of the alleged activities of Day happened outside the county and did not pass through county offices.  Lafitte continues to review practices in her office that can be improved and will act on the results of state the auditors as their findings are released.

Lafitte was just re-elected last year where she ran un-opposed.  She feels that the many years serving in this office have given her good experience on how the clerk’s office should function.  She sees this as a career for herself and feels privileged to continue to serve the county she loves in this position. 

Lafitte is very service oriented and tries to instill this as a culture in the office she manages.  Her office reflects this focus and those who enter experience a service oriented culture from her and her staff.  Lafitte describes herself as a hard worker and takes pride in the work she performs and the service provided from her office to the Morgan community.   Lafitte works quietly, often behind the scenes, to help the county to function.  Her office provides valuable service to the public and some of the core services for the county that keep operations working smoothly.  Lafitte’s ready smile is and friendly demeanor is reflected in the approach of those who work for her.  If you’re looking for help with a smile, the clerk’s office is a great place to start.