10:00 PM PST on Saturday, January 1, 2011

By IMRAN GHORI
The Press-Enterprise

The San Bernardino County clerk-recorder’s office will be formally transferred to the assessor Monday in the final part of a series of mergers approved in early 2010.

In January, the Board of Supervisors eliminated the treasurer/tax collector position as a separately elected office, merging it with the auditor/controller. The duties of public administrator that were handled by the treasurer/tax collector were moved to the sheriff/coroner’s office.

Those mergers took effect in February due to a vacancy created by the retirement of former Treasurer-Tax Collector Dick Larsen.

However, the last part of the swap could not take effect until Larry Walker’s current term as clerk-recorder ended.

Walker, who will be sworn in to his fourth term as auditor/controller Monday, said losing the clerk-recorder duties is bittersweet for him.

“It’s been a very rewarding experience,” he said. “On one hand, I hate to let that go. On the other hand, I have greater responsibility in the area of treasurer/tax collector.”

Clerk/recorder duties include recording and storing marriage licenses, birth certificates and other records. Supervisors decided it made sense to merge that with assessor, whose duties include keeping property records and determining property values.

In 12 years as recorder, Walker said the office moved to a 90 percent automated process, streamlining the electronic recording process.

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