Local Government Revealed: County Clerk Jason Denny

County Clerk Jason Denny

The county clerk is perhaps the one county official we interact with the most, and Jason Denny, who serves as the Anderson County Clerk, is one of the most popular local politicians in the county.  Jason has his dream job, because he is fascinated by the history of the county, and he loves vehicles. These passions drove him to seek the job of county clerk when Harold Ritchey suddenly passed away.

Jason moved to Anderson County in 1984 at the age of 15 and graduated from Anderson County High School in 1987.  He married his wife Debbie in 2003.  They have two children, a girl and a boy, and 4 grandchildren.  They also have a dog and two cats.  In 1985 he started a business, Clean Cut Lawn Care that many of us are familiar with today.  His hobbies include camping, ATV riding and, yes, lawn care.

But, what are Jason’s responsibilities as county clerk?  What does he do that you and I may not see, but which has a positive effect on the county?

There are two primary areas the county clerk oversees: elections and the registration (filing) of deeds, mortgages, marriage licenses, corporations, hunting and fishing licenses and vehicle registration.

Many of us are familiar with the registration of motor vehicles.  The clerk’s office is where we register our vehicles, transfer ownership, renew license plates and pay our vehicle taxes.  What you may not know is when we buy a vehicle outside of our county, the vehicle can still be registered here in the county.  Jason said this is a good thing to do, because it means some of the fees go to our county rather than the county in which the vehicle was purchased.

Jason said that we have the right to register it in Anderson County.  The dealer may try and dissuade us, but if we insist, it can be done. The dealer usually will mail the registration information if we direct them to, but we may need to hand carry it to the Anderson County Clerk.  Again, the reason for doing this is it brings in 3% of the sales tax to our county.  As Jason said, “keep the money local.”

The county clerk supervises an annual budget of approximately $5.25 million.  This budget includes the salaries, medical insurance, and retirement for the employees.  The fees and other revenue that the county clerk’s office brings in makes it entirely self-supporting.  It is the only county department that is.  Any excess funds at the end of the year are turned over to the fiscal court.

The county clerk also oversees the entire election process.  This includes individuals registering to vote, setting up the voting locations, tallying the vote and posting results to the state.  In addition, all city and county filings for office are handled by the county clerk.  The Board of Elections ensures that the elections are honest and accurate.  The election process needs to have absolute integrity.  Jason explains that the citizens of Anderson County can be sure that all the rules are followed.

Jason is dedicated to his job.  It is not unusual for him to be working on nights or weekends.  He also enjoys interacting with the public.  Which by the way, their new offices make it easier to do.  If you have questions, feel free to ask him.  Jason readily admits he does not have all the answers, but his staff does.

One of the big changes in the office is going digital.  Most information is now recorded digitally with paper backup which is a change from the paper and microfiche of a few years ago.  This and some of the other changes will make it faster and easier for them to provide needed services to the county.  Even the drive thru has proven to help the elderly, disabled and parents with a few children along for the ride.

Jason also serves on several committees at the state level for county clerks.  He is the associate training coordinator for the Commission of County Clerks.  Other committees are looking at ways to use technology to improve service to the customers.

You can get in touch with Jason on the clerk’s website.  The website is home to vital information for all residents.

-Written by Don West

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