CACHE COUNTY – Cache County’s new clerk/auditor was out of elective office for about five hours on Tuesday.
Jess Bradfield resigned as a member of the Logan City Council that afternoon and his resignation was accepted by Tom Jensen, the vice chair of the municipal panel.
By 7 p.m., Bradfield’s appointment to fill out the unexpired term of retired Clerk/Auditor Jill Zollinger was confirmed by a unanimous vote of the Cache County Council.
While he is excited about the challenges ahead in his new role with the county, Bradfield admitted to “mixed emotions” over leaving the city council.
“It has been my honor to represent Logan residents … “ Bradfield said. “Perhaps the greatest accomplishment of my tenure (on the city council) was the formation of the subcommittee that is currently examining the creation of voter districts to ensure that each city neighborhood has a representative as their voice.”
If approved, the creation of voter districts would be a significant departure for Logan City, because its city council is now composed strictly of at-large members.
Bradfield said the formation of that subcommittee was a major step toward fulfilling his 2017 campaign promises to protect Logan neighborhoods, increase communication with residents and fiercely advocate for the city’s West Side area, which he believes is under-represented in Logan affairs.
Bradfield assumed his new duties with the county Wednesday morning, with an orientation session and meetings with the staffs of the county’s clerk and auditor offices. While fitting into his new role, Bradfield will also be working nights temporarily in his previous employment as a human resources manager for ThermoFisher Scientific in Logan.
“Juggling both responsibilities will be difficult for a few weeks until ThermoFisher can replace me,” Bradfield admitted. “But this whole thing happened so quickly that I didn’t want to leave anyone in the lurch.”
After 31 years in the County Clerk’s office, Zollinger abruptly retired Aug. 31, midway through a term of office ending in 2022. Under state law, the county’s Republican leaders were then authorized to nominate a replacement to serve out Zollinger’s unexpired term.
During a special election on Sept. 19, local Republicans leaders sent a clear message that they wanted fresh blood in the role of Cache County Clerk/Auditor by selecting Bradfield over two internal candidates seeking that responsibility.
While Bradfield has pledged to streamline and modernize process and procedures in the clerk/auditor office, his immediate concern is managing the preparation for voting in the upcoming general election in November.
I just hope Jess can remember that the clerk/auditor position is inherently a non-political position. Even though it is a partisan position, it probably shouldn’t be. His job is take care of the paperwork that runs through the county. We’ve seen too many county clerks across the country take political stands in recent years, when that is not their job. You just process the paperwork that comes through the office. I appreciate the idea of trying to modernize the office. That is great. Anything that makes it easier for people to take care of paperwork electronically instead of in person is going to be good. Please do not mess up the voting system we have right now. It is working just fine. Vote by mail works. If someone wants to vote in person, they can simply drop off the ballot that was mailed to them in one of several in-person drop-off locations instead of sending it back through the mail. Let’s not increase those costs and make things more complicated for no reason.