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Adam McCoyAdam McCoyFebruary 19, 20181min470

A match made… in the Denver Clerk and Recorder’s office. A record number of matches, in fact.

Love was in the air at the Denver office earlier this week with more than 100 couples tying the knot for Valentine’s Day.

Judges and clergy volunteered their time to perform ceremonies for 103 couples, Clerk Debra Johnson said.

“What an amazing day it was,”  Johnson said. “To have a chance to be part of that much love is so beautiful for everyone in my office.

“We can’t thank the sponsors enough for helping make their wedding day special for so many people,” Johnson added. “Local businesses donated gift certificates; other elected officials and City and of Denver agencies donated gifts.”

It is the 11th year Johnson’s office has held a Valentine’s Day celebration, providing one-stop shopping for all all marriage license needs.

The office issued some 8,406 marriage licenses in 2017, a 5 percent increase from the previous year. In the office’s annual report, officials note innovations sped up wait times from 45 minutes in 2011 to 35 seconds last year.


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Adam McCoyAdam McCoyFebruary 12, 20183min886

Among the longest-serving members on the Denver City Council, Paul López won’t be able to run again for his seat representing District 3 due to term limits.

But he’s not quite ready to leave city government once his term expires. Instead, López is “seriously considering” a bid for Denver clerk and recorder, Denverite reported over the weekend.

A labor and community organizer and Denver native, López joined the City Council in 2007 at age 28, becoming the youngest person ever elected to the body. He told Denverite he hasn’t yet filed, but should he commit, he’d center his campaign on social justice.

López would likely face Peg Perl, who announced she’d jump into politics and seek the Denver Clerk and Recorder’s office last summer.

Colorado Politics’ Joey Bunch noted in a July article Perl will be a “formidable candidate with a background in the law, good government advocacy and good political relationships, even with most opponents.” She is a top-rated lawyer in the state and known for her time as senior counsel for the government watchdog non-profit Colorado Ethics Watch.

Current Denver Clerk and Recorder Debra Johnson announced in July she would not seek a third term but rather retire after 25 years of public service.

The office manages city elections and handles marriage licenses, foreclosures and government records among other duties. The election will be held in 2019.


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Adam McCoyAdam McCoyFebruary 9, 20182min616

It seems like the Denvers Clerk and Recorder’s Office is regularly breaking records for marriage licenses issued and newly registered voters. That was certainly true of 2017 as Debra Johnson’s office “eclipsed” the previous year’s accomplishments.

“A large swath of the US viewed the totality of the solar eclipse last year, and here at the Clerk and Recorder’s Office, our accomplishments in 2017 eclipsed all previous years,” Johnson said. “With the incredible growth in Denver, we’ve seized opportunities to lead the way in elections, records preservation, marriages and bringing our services directly to you.”

The office issued some 8,406 marriage licenses in 2017, a 5 percent increase from the previous year. In the office’s annual report, officials note innovations sped up wait times from 45 minutes in 2011 to 35 seconds last year.

The office’s Election Division modernized city campaign finance rules for municipal elections last year including establishing a structure for reporting campaign ads (TV, radio, etc.) from candidates or outside groups and, for the first time in Denver, instituting fines for candidates who fail to file campaign finance reports on time.

A new mobile voter center debuted in September in Civic Center Park on National Voter Registration Day, also residents to complete their registration on the go.

Here are some other highlights:

  • 161,545 documents recorded
  • 35,544 newly registered voters
  • 401,454 ballots issued
  • 3,000 bidders for foreclosure auctions
  • $2.7 million in excess funds returned to homeowners
  • First-ever, risk limiting audit
  • $1.3 million back to City coffers

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Adam McCoyAdam McCoyJuly 14, 20173min771

Who’s ever heard of an innovative bureaucracy?

Denver’s Clerk and Recorder Office was recognized this week for just that, receiving a pair of awards from an international government association.

Clerk Debra Johnson received the innovator award for unique achievements and best practices from the International Association of Government Officials.

“We continue to look for ways to serve our customers quicker and better. We’ve worked hard to change the stodgy, bureaucratic perception of local government,” Clerk Johnson said in a statement Wednesday. “And we think we’re succeeding.”

The office said it has cut customer wait times significantly — from 48 minutes to less than 30 seconds — streamlined its website and digitized millions of records for public access, making more services available online.

Deputy Denver Clerk and Recorder Juan Guzman also received the excellence in county government award — recognizing leadership, ingenuity, excellence and integrity.

“Every day, Juan looks for ways to better serve Denverites and all Colorado residents,” said Johnson. “Juan has led the way in technological innovations — when they make sense for our staff and our customers. The focus on our customers means we want to serve our residents and allow business to thrive in Denver.”

The office said Johnson and Guzman were also at the forefront of the fight for marriage equality in Colorado in 2014.

Furthermore, they helped pass recording legislation which ensured all Colorado counties have up-to-date electronic recording equipment. The office noted the legislation had little benefit for the city, but helped maintain efficiency and integrity of recording in the state.

They also authored legislation closing loopholes in Colorado’s proxy marriage laws, ensuring marriage can’t be used for sex trafficking or to bring people into the country illegally.


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Mike McKibbinMike McKibbinDecember 1, 20166min336

Denver City Council members and other identified officials would have to report gifts worth more than $50 a year, double the current threshold amount, under an ordinance revising the municipal code. A separate ordinance updating the city's lobbyist registration requirements includes clearer definitions of who would have to comply with those reporting requirements. The council's Finance and Governance Committee, at its Tuesday, Nov. 29, meeting, sent both ordinances to the full council. The action followed an earlier committee meeting where the changes were first discussed.


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Mike McKibbinMike McKibbinNovember 18, 20167min604

Monthly lobbyist financial reports required by the City and County of Denver, designed to help the public know who is lobbying City Council members on what issues, are commonly submitted with no reported expenditures, a review of the documents by the The Colorado Statesman has found. While no wrongdoing or rules violations is thought to have occurred, the city ordinance that regulates lobbyists by requiring registration and the reports does not identify specific oversight. Like many other areas of municipal and state regulations, it is basically a self-reporting arrangement that is only investigated upon complaint, according to Assistant City Attorney David Broadwell.