Stockard swears in elected county officials
LVN Editor Emeritus
District Court Judge Thomas Stockard swore in Churchill County’s newest and returning elected officials Monday prior to the county commissioners first meeting of January.
Before he proceeded to swear in officials, commissioners recognized outgoing clerk/treasurer Kelly Helton, who has served the county since 1984.
Looking back, Helton said her life as a public official has been “quite a ride.” Her career began in 1984 with the Parks and Recreation Department as the office manager, and she transferred to the county clerk’s office in 1987 after Ruby Anderson was elected as clerk/treasurer. Helton said the years have passed quickly. The 1981 Churchill County High School graduate, a Republican, first ran unopposed for the partisan office in 2006 and won re-election in 2010 and 2014. Helton also attended Hill Business College in Sacramento.
A native of Fallon, Helton worked in the clerk’s/treasurer’s office for 27 years, moving up the ranks to office manager under retired Clerk Gloria Venturacci, who succeeded Anderson. Venturacci decided not to seek re-election in 2006. Helton, a Republican, first ran unopposed for the partisan office in 2006, easily defeating challenger Ken Greenwell in 2010 and ran unopposed in 2014.
Helton’s deputy assistant, Linda Rothery, was elected as clerk/treasurer last year and was sworn Monday as about 100 people watched the installation. During her tenure in office, though, Helton’s focus has never wavered.
“My goals have been and continue to be to increase public confidence in local government by providing efficient and courteous service; to raise awareness of the voter registration process and the efficiency, transparency and effectiveness of the election process; and to provide the highest level of service with the minimum financial impact,” Helton said when she filed in 2014.
The years of public service have quickly swept by Helton.
“I have chronicled my life on elections,” she said with a laugh after Monday’s ceremony.
She began working at the clerk/treasurer’s office when it was located at the Court House, but many of the county offices later relocated to the current administration building on North Taylor Street years after the hospital moved to its new facility on East Williams Avenue. She said the workload 30 years ago was tremendous because of manual input, but today, she said the work is highly automated. In the late 1980s, residents voted with punch cards, and now, she said the counties have sophisticated, electronic voting machines.
As for her plans, Helton said she hasn’t thought about that although she has mentioned the desire to travel more and spend more time with her grandchildren.
Officials taking oaths on Monday included District Attorney Art Mallory, Assessor Tasha Hessey, Recorder Denise Mondhink-Felton, Public Assessor Bob Getto, County Commissioner District 2 Pete Olsen, Sheriff Richard Hickox and Justice of the Peace Ben Trotter.
School Board members included Amber Getto, Matt Hyde and Carmen Schank. Fred Buckmaster was absent from the meeting. The Mosquito, Vector and Noxious Weed Abatement Board included Christy Lattin, Michael Spencer and Thomas Hutching. Ernie Schank was sworn into the Lahontan Conservation District. Trevor de Braga was not present to be sworn in for the Stillwater Conservation District.