Interview with Helen Bartone, candidate for Montgomery County Clerk

“As county clerk, I have 27 years of leadership and management skills,” said incumbent Montgomery County Clerk candidate Helen Bartone during a recent interview. “I have found productive ways to expand programs and enhance services in the county clerk’s office with the resources given to me.”

Bartone said she believes her 43 years of experience in public service, which includes 27 years as county clerk, and 16 years as clerk for the Town of Amsterdam, is what sets her apart from her opponent.

A lifelong resident of Montgomery County, and currently residing in Fort Johnson with her husband Joe, Bartone described herself as a nonpartisan elected official and said she manages 15 loyal staff members who are charged with maintaining and preserving official vital records.

“We meet the needs of the public and perform the duties set forth by law,” she said. “Our mission in the county clerk’s office and DMV is to provide exceptional customer service to the public while generating revenue for the county in order to reduce the property tax burden,” she said.

New services that Bartone said have been implemented by her office or will soon be implemented include: accepting credit card payments in the record room and motor vehicle department, electronic recording documents and e-filing court records, accepting maps electronically, and other internet online services.

Bartone said she is most proud of her accomplishments in advocating for veterans and implementing a new pistol permit program that allows for the pistol permit holder to replace their paper card listing all their guns with a plastic ID card.

“I have implemented the veteran Return The Favor discount program. Veterans can register their DD214s (military discharge papers) to have it recorded in the veterans’ registry for a permanent record,” she said.

“When filing their DD214, their original is returned to the veteran and a plastic card is issued at no fee to request a discount from local businesses,” Bartone said. “I tell the veteran to just show their card wherever they go and ask if the business will honor a discount. This is a very popular program and it also helps local businesses.”

Even though the program is not offered in Fulton County, she said the county invites Fulton County veterans to participate in the program.

Bartone said with her open door policy she has implemented since first being elected 27 years ago, people are being served better.

“People come in and say hello, ask for help, and suggest ways to make improvements. My open door policy extends to my staff, to attorneys, judges, abstractors, law enforcement, and that is one of the things I have initiated since started working as county clerk,” she said.

Bartone will appear on November’s ballot on the Democratic, Woman’s Equality, and Working Families party lines. She faces challenger Brittany Kolbe, who will appear on the Republican, Conservative, Independence, and Reform party lines.

She has received official endorsements from the Civil Service Employees Association, Positive Action Mohawk Valley, and Eleanor’s Legacy.

Visit Bartone’s Facebook page for more information.