Perspective: Atlantic County Clerk
This month I want to talk about the Constitutional Officers Association of New Jersey (COANJ). I attended my first COANJ meeting in December 2021, a few weeks prior to taking my oath of office. COANJ is made of county clerks, surrogates, sheriffs and registers of deeds and mortgages elected directly by the people of our respective counties throughout the state of New Jersey. This wonderful organization was organized in 1920 for the following purposes:
• To establish a cooperative effort among county clerks, surrogates and sheriffs of the 21 counties of the state of New Jersey to improve services rendered to their respective counties.
• To hold conferences, consultations and meetings to discuss matters of importance relating to the conduct and advancement of the methods of filing, recording, indexing and preservation of the records in the offices of the county clerk, surrogate and sheriff, and such matters as be brought before the meetings of the association.
• To submit and advocate such legislation for the accomplishment of the above-mentioned purposes and such laws which may be found necessary and feasible in relation to the conduct of all the offices of the county clerks, surrogates and sheriffs in the state of New Jersey.
• To foster new and safeguard old legislation of benefit to members.
• To encourage and maintain high standards of service.
• To hold an annual conference and special meetings for the discussion of current county problems.
I have to say that during my short tenure as Atlantic County Clerk the benefits of attending COANJ meetings has been extremely helpful in running the clerk’s office. The information sharing takes place on an almost daily basis, via emails and phone calls. One thing that is truly refreshing is that I have made some wonderful friends while attending this organization. What is most enjoyable is that politics is left at the door and we all work as a group for the greater good of the people we serve, after all—that’s what public service is all about.
Through this organization, I am working closely with other county clerks and am in the process of visiting their offices to see how they are the same and how they differ. It was great a few weeks ago to visit the Cape May County Clerk’s office, where my deputies and myself shared so many items about our offices.
In the weeks ahead I will be traveling up north to see how they operate.
As always, the Atlantic County Clerk’s Office is here for you. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at (609) 625-4011.
Joseph J. Giralo
Atlantic County Clerk