To the editor,
I have greatly appreciated the support of many voters — of every political persuasion — throughout this campaign for County Clerk. Obviously, this campaign was thrust upon us under very challenging circumstances.
I have worked hard to not only speak with voters about the campaign, but also the office as it currently exists. My opponent and I had the opportunity to first trade views last week during an interview with a local reporter. I think he and I came to largely agree on several issues especially with regard to the need for transparency in the office.
Throughout this campaign, I have said that I would talk about what I will do as County Clerk, not answer the accusations of my opponent or his surrogates.
I am proud of my work experience both with my family’s business – the Oswego County Weeklies – but also on the staffs of former Rep. John McHugh and current Assembly Leader Brian Kolb.
Being in public service has taught me the kind of constituent attention that is important to an office like the clerk’s.
I have real plans to improve the quality and convenience of service for Oswego County taxpayers.
For example, during the interview with my opponent, I stated that I will have an open-door policy for employees of the office to not only meet with me, but also with other members of the staff, so that when situations arise we can solve them quickly and efficiently.
This will limit some of the back-biting and very serious allegations of bullying that need to be addressed and resolved immediately. I will work to create a team-based, goal-oriented clerk’s office that puts constituent service first.
Part of that constituent service approach is making sure that we, the clerk’s office, hear directly from you, the taxpayers. The public will always be welcome to contact me as clerk directly, but I will also institute a comment card program that will let customers give feedback on their experience with the office.
As you pass through the DMV, for example, after you finish your transaction the clerk will hand you a comment card and ask you to fill it out and drop it in the box as you exit. On that card you’ll be able to tell us about your experience such as how long you had to wait in line or that you would like more information about other services, such as the pistol permit process.
If you’d like to leave your information on the card we’ll personally get back to you.
Or, if you’d prefer to remain anonymous, we’ll respect your privacy. Either way, we’ll appreciate your willingness to help us improve the service experience you have when visiting the clerk’s office.
Those are just a few of the changes that I have already committed to making, if elected as Oswego County Clerk on Election Day.
I have spent my life working and developing good practices for constituent service, and I believe my background in public service, along with my educational attainment – Masters Degree in Public Administration – have prepared me well for such a challenge.
I respectfully ask that you consider honoring me with your vote on Tuesday, November 6.
Thank you for taking the time to read this letter.
Michael C. Backus