Summit County recorder’s retirement triggers election
June 16, 2018
Summit County will soon have an unexpected opening for an elected official. MaryAnn Trussell, the county recorder, recently announced that she will step down from her post more than two years before her term was set to expire.
Trussell submitted a resignation letter earlier this month and will vacate her seat July 1. She attributed her decision to enter early retirement to a desire to be near her husband of 41 years. He currently lives on a farm in Riverton, Wyoming, where the couple owns property.
"He has retired and is living out there and I just feel like it is time for me to be with my husband," she said.
Trussell, a Democrat, was appointed to the recorder position by the Democratic party in May 2013 after the retirement of Alan Spriggs. She began working in the recorder's office in 1990 and was appointed chief deputy in 1997, a title she held until her appointment of recorder.
Trussell defeated Vicki Richards in 2014 to secure a six-year term. Prior to the election, Trussell told The Park Record she was "prepared to make a six-year commitment."
Her decision to leave her position mid-term triggers a complicated process to find a temporary replacement until voters have a chance to weigh in. Rhonda Francis, chief deputy recorder, will likely assume Trussell's duties once she steps down and occupy the position for a period of 30 days while the Summit County Democratic Party nominates someone to serve through the end of 2018. The Summit County Council must approve the nominee. Voters will then determine a permanent replacement to fill the remainder of Trussell's term in November.
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If there was less than two years left in her term, the Summit County Democratic Party's nominee would finish the term.
Cheryl Butler, Summit County's Democratic Party chair, referred to it as a "crazy and convoluted process required by the state." Butler said once Summit County Clerk Kent Jones publicly announces that the position is open, political parties can begin recruiting candidates to be on the November ticket.
Candidates must be selected at least 65 days in advance of the election so that their names can be added to the ballot, Jones said.
Brantley Eason, chair of the Summit County Republican Party, said the party is "always looking to have candidates." He said it will just be a matter of finding someone who is ready and willing to jump in the face. The Republicans did not field candidates in four other county races that will be decided this fall.
The recorder's office is responsible for tracking all land records for taxation purposes. Information about property ownership and acreage is also available through the office. The recorder oversees six employees.