Register of Deeds Gary Scholten has turned in a letter of resignation, effective June 30. His current term — the last for the post — ends Dec. 31.
"I could leave in the winter (when the term ends) or I could leave in the summer and enjoy it," Scholten explained. "I want to enjoy the rest of the year."
The county is combining the clerk and register of deeds elected posts beginning in 2013. While Scholten once considered running for the combined post, he decided to retire instead and allow longtime County Clerk Dan Krueger the opportunity to take over.
The only name on the Aug. 7 primary ballot for the combined post is Krueger, so he's all but officially elected to it.
"Now there's no question anymore who's going to follow," Scholten said. "It's going to be Dan."
The letter of resignation was sent to the three members of a county panel who will handle the question of filling the register's job for the final six months of the year: Krueger, Chief Probate Judge Mark Feyen and County Prosecutor Ronald Frantz.
County Administrator Al Vanderberg said state law lays out a procedure that such a panel selects a replacement for an elected official, but the short time before the job is merged with the clerk's post throws a wrench into it. He believes the panel will meet June 14 to consider the options.
"It seems like a unique situation," Vanderberg said.
Scholten said he recommends the deputy register runs the office until the end of the year. However, he said other options include the deputy register being promoted temporarily, Krueger running it or someone else named to the temporary assignment.
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