County clerk names chief deputy

Janie Slaven, Commonwealth Journal, Somerset, Ky.
·3 min read

Apr. 6—Pulaski County Clerk Linda Burnett has named Samantha Owens as the office's chief deputy.

Owens, who has been with the clerk's office for 13 years, is currently serving as the manager of the Department for Motor Vehicle Licensing (MVL) and oversaw its relocation from the county courthouse to the former BB&T branch on North Main Street, which officially opened last July.

"Really she has been acting as my go-to person for close to three years now," Burnett said, adding she asked Owens to become chief deputy in November. "She's been instrumental to our office. She's learned a lot of the different things we do here and is very reliable."

Burnett noted that she hadn't selected a chief deputy before because she had wanted to oversee each department herself for her first term. "I just felt like that was something I had to do," she said.

To begin her second term, Burnett promoted several of her staff to managerial positions including Owens (MVL), Becca Shepherd (Elections Department), Jennifer Hughes (Land Records/Recording Department), Jenny Gillespie (Delinquent Real Estate Tax Department), Jennifer Epperson (Bookkeeping Department), Greg Andersen (Payroll/Human Resources Department) and Ashley Hawk (Mall Branch Manager).

"I have a good group, who are great at taking care of people," Burnett said.

"You have to like working with the public," Owens added. "It's the one-on-one interaction that makes it fun and challenging."

Among the ongoing projects within the clerk's office is the transition to KAVIS (Kentucky Automated Vehicle Information System) for vehicle registrations — which the state has been working toward for the better part of a decade.

"The handicap placards and the boats are already on the system," Owens said, "as is our Point of Sale system, taking in money."

In addition to renewing vehicle registrations at either the bank (which offers drive-thru service) or mall branches, the public is also welcome to renew their tags online at drive.ky.gov.

"March and April are the two busiest months of the year for us," Burnett said. "We've not only had the regular renewals but have been processing farm tags, campers, commercial trucks, semi trailers, boats and boat trailers."

The county clerk's office is also still working to upload more records onto their new online search platform, which can be accessed through the clerk's office website at https://www.pckycountyclerk.com/ and clicking on the tab for "Client Access Portal."

The clerk's office partnered with Courthouse Computer Systems for the new service, which launched in December and currently offers records dating from 1990 to present. The next era to become available will encompass records from 1978 to 1989. Those records include: deeds, mortgages, cumbrances and releases, power of attorney filings, wills, commissioner deeds, fixture filings, apartment mortgages and deeds, bail bonds, partnerships, incorporation filings and mechanic's liens.

"Our goal is to scan in the rest of the deeds then move on to other records," Owens said of digitizing the documents.

Later in the month, the clerk's office will upload the delinquent tax schedule onto the main website in preparation for the annual delinquent tax sale to be held in August.

"Delinquent taxes leave the sheriff's office on April 15," Burnett explained. "We should have them uploaded into our system by April 19 and ready to collect here."

Bills which haven't been paid by April 15 are subject to additional penalties and interest. If they remain unpaid, they can be sold to a third party at the tax sale with the purchaser essentially holding a lien against the property in question. "That's by statute, not by our choosing," Burnett added.

The Pulaski County Clerk's Office and its branches currently operate Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with a lunch break from 11 a.m. to 12 noon. For more information, call 606-679-2042.