Number of awards earned may set County record
In what may be a record for a single Macomb County department, Macomb County Clerk/Register of Deeds Carmella Sabaugh and her staff today received 10 Achievement Awards from the National Association of Counties.
The “good government” awards are issued nationally to recognize County programs that enhance services, improve County management or promote intergovernmental coordination. This exceeds what may be the County’s previous single department NACo record of six, set by Sabaugh last year.
“I am proud of our union staff who worked with me to achieve these awards,” said Sabaugh. “These awards show that despite severe budget cuts, we can innovate to provide good public service.”
Since 2008, Sabaugh cut approximately 20 percent of her staff and 20 percent of her budget, or $1 million, while earning 27 national achievement awards over the same time period.
“Carmella Sabaugh and her staff have a pattern of demonstrating that Macomb County government provides good service and they help make our County a great place to do business,” said Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel. “I congratulate Sabaugh and her staff for again raising the bar for outstanding public service.”
“As we work to make government more efficient, I admire Macomb County Clerk Carmella Sabaugh's continued innovation and dedication to using technology in a way that leads the region in service delivery. She and her staff are truly assets to Macomb County,” said Macomb County Commission Chair Kathy D. Vosburg.
This year, Sabaugh received 10 NACo achievement awards for:
- FastPass service, which lets customers make appointments and skip the wait in line.
- Circuit Court progress duty tracking dashboard promotes accountability.
- County Clerk consolidates services with Secretary of State to offer one-stop shopping.
- Electronic court dispositions speed paperwork to jail.
- Jury staff updates jurors anytime, anywhere with Google Docs.
- Automated Circuit Court sentence scheduling system saves staff time, increases efficiency.
- Online mortgage redemption service helps homeowners avoid foreclosure and save.
- Real-time County Commission minutes allow immediate access to information in County government.
- Register of Deeds e-mail alert system allows early detection of fraud.
- Register of Deeds super index protects property rights and reduces fraud in real estate.
Three other departments in Macomb County also received NACo awards. The Macomb County Community Services Agency received an award for increasing participation in the Liquid Meal Program - a program that provides meal supplements to seniors in Macomb County at a discount - as well as for bringing improved efficiencies in transportation through the use of GPS.
Additionally, Macomb County Senior Citizen Services garnered an award for its program, “Taking the Mystery out of Retirement,” which helps guide Macomb County seniors through the retirement process. Macomb County Planning and Economic Development earned a NACo award this year because the Macomb-OU INCubator has formed many successful local partnerships.
Sabaugh has racked up 48 National Association of Counties Achievement Awards
in her tenure as County Clerk / Register of Deeds
and created innovative programs, including:
- Making it easier for the public to follow campaign money, including searching by individual and businesses donors, disclosing County and local candidates’ campaign finance reports in what has been called, “[T]he most transparent in Michigan for reporting County and local political money,” and “[A] model for other [Michigan] counties to follow,” by the executive director of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network.
- Creating an online Register of Deeds entry book, which has been called, “The single most important step undertaken by any register in the state to stem the tide of real estate fraud,”by the General Counsel of a major title company.
- Improving the quality of concealed pistol license permits and reducing the risk of fraud.
- Using Google Checkout to streamline online credit card payments, making it easier for customers to pay.
- Preserving history by providing text-searchable County Board of Commissioners minutes and resolutions online from 1924 to the present.
- Creating online how-to videos, which explain services to the public on the Clerk’s website and YouTube channel.
- Posts list online of those that owe fines for campaign finance violations.
- Created a system to let candidates pay campaign finance fines online.
- May have been the first to use competitive bids for election supplies; saved over $500,000.
- Switched to Google Apps for Government e-mail and collaboration software.
- Has evening hours Wednesdays to ensure people can get personal service if they cannot leave work to visit the clerk’s office during the day.
- Gives pagers to waiting jurors to shop with most costs paid by local businesses.
- Accepts credit card payments, making paying for services easier.
- Provides overnight delivery service for vital records and court documents.
- Allows concealed weapons permit applicants to check their application status online.
- Provides wireless Internet access for jurors waiting to be sent to a courtroom.
- Offers a business name and death record lookups on the Internet.
- Provides free library book delivery to jurors waiting to be picked for a trial.
- Offers public real estate documents online.
- Offers a mobile branch office bringing clerk’s services to local communities.
- Provides free bus rides to people summoned for jury duty.
- Launched a toll-free 24-hour fax-on-demand system providing forms and info.
- Helped start a Personal Protection Order Assistance Center to assist victims of abuse.
- Lets high school students learn and earn by hiring them as election inspectors.
“My union staff and I are working on some exciting projects for the future,” said Sabaugh.