Wapello County Courthouse

County Supervisors and Treasurer Laurie Fountain talked about making some changes in the Motor Vehicles Department. Meetings are held very Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. (unless otherwise noted) on the third floor of the courthouse. Meetings are open to the public. 

OTTUMWA — County supervisors and Treasurer Laurie Fountain had a conversation about making some changes in her office.

Fountain explained a clerk one at the motor vehicles department works on registrations and transfers. Clerk two allows a person to initiate dealer titles and handle book work. The concept she said, is simple. Each person gains more knowledge, laws and rules in order to effectively perform their jobs.

“Clerk one can wait on counters and take tax money and stuff,” she said, “and tax sales certificates and stuff like that. When you become clerk two, then you can start doing things like more of the abstract and a balance and statements and stuff. If we move you to a clerk three, then you would start taking money from the cash register and doing the daily book, stuff like that.”

Currently, she said, the Iowa DOT (Department of Transportation) has an office where the one clerk from the motor vehicles department goes two Saturdays out of the month to handle registrations, renewals title work and drivers license. Fountain wants to have more than one clerk in her department able to go to the DOT office because of the difference it can make in improving the department’s structure.

“If we had more people that were [clerk] three’s then we can send someone out there,” she said, “but you don’t want to send someone out there if they don’t have the knowledge. It takes a while to gain that knowledge based on motor vehicles.”

Getting a person to become clerk three, though, takes time. “I wouldn’t see it until a year or even a few years till a person becomes clerk three,” she said. “You’ve got a lot to learn at motor vehicles. There’s a lot of laws and you get a lot of state titles and you got to know their laws as well. There’s a lot of stuff to learn and it takes longer than you know.”

“You need everybody to be a clerk three?” Supervisor Jerry Parker asked Fountain.

Fountain said yes. “[It’s important] in order for us to help the customers better and have an office out there. Basically you want your people to be well-rounded and be able to do everything.”

Supervisor Brian Morgan agreed, also saying having multiple clerk threes is a big change. “Now compared to 30 years ago, we don’t have those menial secretarial jobs,” he said. “Everyone we hire, they have to think and they have to be more well-rounded because there’s times where you have a person calling in sick. We’re cutting back to the point to where the people we hire now, we want them to be clerk three so that way they can cover everything.”

Supervisors seemed inclined to approve, but there’s not a timeline for when the changes will take place.

Chiara Romero can be reached at cromero@ottumwacourier.com.

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