The Clare County Clerk’s office lost a good friend recently with the passing of Deputy Clerk Vicki Ferris. The 61-year-old Ferris passed away due to illness.
Ferris had recently taken a medical leave but was originally expected to return but a worsening of her condition and eventual passing.
“With her passing its a whole new story,” County Clerk Pamela Mayfield said of the current situation, saddened by the loss.
While no one can replace Ferris the county does now need to fill her position. Alongside a position dealing with the upcoming election previously vacated by another employee who transferred into a different role Ferris’ passing now leaves the Clerk’s office looking to hire for two positions. The Board of Commissioners approved filling of both positions at its board meeting on Wednesday.
At an earlier meeting Mayfield asked the Board of Commissioners for permission to hire a temporary worker to fill in for Ferris. When she received permission Mayfield said then she already had someone in mind and that someone was Jozzie Apple, who previously worked in the department. According to Mayfield Apple was brought in briefly but she wasn’t able to serve as a long-term solution due to school commitments and a second job.
“We couldn’t be as flexible as she needed,” Mayfield said.
With Apple occupied Mayfield has temporarily tapped Kris Jensen to fill in until a more permanent solution can be found. Mayfield notes that while Jensen is a ‘snowbird’ who spends much of the winter in Florida she has agreed to help out until October.
One thing Mayfield has found from this situation is the need for courthouse employees to receive more cross training. She added with cross training employees from other better-staffed areas in the courthouse could easily fill in when another area has absences such as the clerk’s office does now.
With the current situation Mayfield noted the clerk’s office is currently down three employees from its past numbers. Before she was elected as clerk she held a position in the office which she said was never filled after she moved up.