Q: Do you have any new initiatives at your office?
A: Yes, since our office is also the County Recorder and Custodian of Records, we have a number of documents like marriage licenses and military discharge papers going back many years. Our intent is to build exhibits online to be viewed easily by the public and the first one we did honored St. Johns County residents and their service in the military. Dr. Susan Parker, Clerk Historian, was able to locate records within the clerk’s records warehouse to create this virtual exhibit of discharge certificates from residents of St. Johns County. The exhibit highlights the various roles of just a few of the hundreds of veterans in war and peace from the days of the Spanish-American War through World War II. It’s important to note that we gladly record discharge papers, now DD-214s, for free as a service to our veterans. You can view the exhibit at https://stjohnsclerk.com/local-veterans-exhibit/.
Coming up next year, we plan to put together an exhibit honoring the 200th anniversary of Florida becoming a territory.
Q: Can you tell us about the new St. Johns County Inspector General?
A: We appointed Nilsa Arissa to this position on Nov. 5. She previously served as the Assistant Inspector General and brings an extensive finance and audit management background. The work of the inspector general is an important component of our form of government as it provides checks and balances to ensure good government in our county. The inspector general handles audits, both quantitative and qualitative. An example of a qualitative audit is the DAVID (Drivers and Vehicle Information Database) database, which contains sensitive information like driver history and address. We annually audit this to ensure that only those individuals who have need to view this database can do so. The Inspector General’s scope of work also includes public integrity investigations (Fraud, Waste, Abuse), and guardianship accountings.
Q: What can you tell us about your office’s new official seal?
A: We just rolled out the new seal for the Clerk’s office. It better reflects what we do on behalf of the residents of St. Johns County. The inner and outer circles denote the offices within our larger office and the seal states that we were established in 1821. The compass points due north since we are solely focused on our mission, the spyglass refers to our auditing function, and the pen refers to our recording function. Finally the shield shape is representative of our protecting the public’s confidence.
Q: What is the best way for our readers to contact you or your office?
A: A lot of questions can be answered by visiting our website, www.stjohnsclerk.com. People can also call our main office at (904) 819-3600.