May 15, 2013 - By Eric Blom, Staff WriterThe Lander deputy clerk will fill the remaining portion of Katie Brodie Meredith's elected term.
The Fremont County Commission voted 4-1 Tuesday to appoint Kristi H. Green to the position of clerk of district court. Commissioners said it was difficult to choose between current deputy clerk of district court Green and chief clerk of Riverton Circuit Court Jennifer Clymer.
After interviewing the two nominees separately, the commission deliberated in executive session for roughly 20 minutes.
In regular session, commissioner Doug Thompson --who joined the meeting by phone --proposed appointing Green.
A moment passed before commissioner Stephanie Kessler seconded the motion. In the end, only commissioner Keja Whiteman voted against it.
"I'm not going to support the motion; it's not a vote against Kristi (H. Green)," Whiteman said. "I'm just very torn."
Commissioners Kessler, Larry Allen and Travis Becker also said the decision was difficult for them.
"This is the toughest decision I've made since I've been here," said Allen, who was elected to the commission in November.
An appointment to the elected clerk of district court spot was necessary after Katie Brodie Meredith announced on April 23 that she would resign. Green will take over July 1 and serve the remainder of Brodie Meredith's term through Dec. 31, 2014.
When she resigned, Brodie Meredith said she supported Green taking over as court clerk.
In her interview for the commission, Green said if she were appointed, she would seek election to the court clerk office in 2014.
Because Brodie Meredith is a Republican, the party had to submit three nominees for her replacement.
The GOP had interviews May 9, and submitted Green and Clymer to the commission for consideration along with John Angst to fill out the statutorily required list.
Angst did his interview in front of the commission.
Only three months have passed since the commission last made an appointment to fill a vacated elected office. Commissioners in February voted unanimously to pick Michael Bennett to fill the county attorney post after Brian Varn announced his resignation.
Green has worked as a clerk in local courts for more than 30 years.
"I have learned how the job should be done from the bottom up," she said. "I am a good employee of the people; I take pride in being honest."
Clymer said her background in the legal and business fields would qualify her for the position.
Alluding to spats with other elected officials, commissioners asked the nominees how they would work with the county board.
"As an elected official, would you endeavor to administer county policies as the commission has established those policies?" Thompson asked Green.
"Absolutely," she replied. "When this board sets policy I will respect that, and I will follow that."
Responding to a similar question, Clymer said she also would work with commission policies.
Whiteman asked if Green supported centralizing human resources work in the county government.
"Some of the elected officials saw that maybe as a takeaway of their authority, some saw it as a benefit," Whiteman said.
If the commission decided to consolidate the handling of personnel issues, she would support it, Green said.
"I don't think it demeans my role in any way," she said.
Clymer, in her interview, said a centralized approach to human resources would be a positive development.
Green joined the clerk's office of the Fremont County Clerk, now the Circuit Court, in 1983. In 1995, she moved to the Clerk of District Court's Office and has worked there since.
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