Candidate Vows To Bring Positive Change to Clerk’s Office

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.

Michael C. Backus
Michael Backus

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

1 Comment

  1. I truly look forward to seeing a change in the County Clerks office after a downward spiral in recent years that has seen records and work farmed out to a questionable (and expensive) vendor (IQS) in another County, as well as the remaining unionized workers suffering daily abuse.
    As an elected official of Oswego County I have been harassed, maligned and incurred legal expenses to defend myself from attacks by the late Clerk, the Deputy and the next deputy. This all stemmed from my opposition to the IQS contract and my alleged participation in investigations into the office and its management. Recently, workers have been ordered to not talk to County Legislators such as myself. Other County officials have either refused to intervene or worse, become part of the problem by papering it over.
    In this special election there are two good individuals running for County Clerk. I have known Phil Vasho for several years and have the greatest respect for him. The problems in this office however are not only going to take institutional knowledge to resolve, but political support from the majority party.
    I am supporting Mike Backus, and take him at his word that he will restore credibility, openness and moral to this important office. Mike comes from a good family with a solid reputation in our region. While relatively young, Mike is very experienced in politics and government. He is also importantly well educated, and morally grounded. I am trusting that Mike will clean up the office and work hard to restore trust with the employees. In my office as a County Legislator as well as a self-appointed advocate for the persecuted employees within this office I will watch this closely.
    These changes cannot come soon enough to a County Department and office in sore need of leadership. Mike is in my opinion the best candidate for this important job. Please join me in supporting Mike on Tuesday at the polls.

    Shawn Doyle
    Oswego County Legislator, Pulaski

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