On Thursday, the Rockland County Clerk’s office received the 2011 Rockland County Department of the Year Quality award for the first time in 19 years.
County Executive Scott Vanderhoef presented County Clerk Paul Piperato and his staff with the the award for "making government services more accessible and convenient for the residents of Rockland County."
“The collaborative effort we have is great. Everyone of us in this office is dedicated to the residents of this county,” said Piperato.
“They have done such a magnificent job of reaching out to customers and making it easier,” said Vanderhoef. “They are the Department of the Year, particularly showing that (they’re) a model of reaching out to the customer and being customer friendly ... This is all because of the work (the staff) does under Paul’s leadership. We’re very proud of the clerk’s office.”
Last year, because of that office’s efforts, Rockland became the first county in the state of New York to implement e-Filing or the mandatory electronic filing of court records.
"This adds up to a tremendous savings for Rockland—a savings in time, material, labor and storage," said Vanderhoef. "Just think about it.
About 15,000 court cases were filed manually each year before. Each case, which included stacks of paper, had to be manually docketed and filed away. Paul and his staff have a new goal this year - to be the first County Clerk’s Office in the state to implement e-recording or
the electronic recording of land records."
The Rockland County Clerk’s Office has worked on special initiatives including enrolling veterans in the “Return the F.A.V.O.R. program,” which gives discounts to veterans at local businesses. Rockland now has 3,000 veterans and 350 businesses enrolled. In addition, the staff is
working on developing a statewide program to increase organ donor registrations.
“(The clerk’s office) helps veterans out and one of the keys to that is getting veterans to come out and say that they’re veterans and get their services,” said Vanderhoef.
The County Clerk's office provides extended office hours, mobile services, E-Z pass tags and money order sales, an ATM on the premises, a
public drop box, designated parking spaces for customers and internet access to records and forms.