2009 was a financially stressful year for Huron County citizens and for our county offices. The area's high unemployment and poor economic conditions placed huge burdens on the families of our county. Foreclosures represented a record high, 34 percent, of the total new cases filed in the Common Pleas Court. Action on tax liens and garnishments also multiplied.
Due to emergent county fiscal concerns, on September 1, 2009, the Court of Common Pleas and the Clerk of Courts office joined many other Huron County offices in closing at noon on Fridays. The Clerk of Courts, Susan Hazel, joined her staff in taking a voluntary reduction in salary. The conservative actions helped allow the county to finish 2009 with a better-than-expected year-end balance.
As a cost-saving measure, the title staffing was again reduced at the end of August by not replacing a retiring employee. (A 30% reduction in staff within 3 years.) Despite cuts, the Title office continued to serve the public Monday through Friday 8:00 to 4:30 and 8:00 to noon on Saturdays. In order to improve efficiency, the Willard branch hours were shifted to Tuesdays and Thursdays 9-11 / noon to 4:30.
Unchanged since 1993, legislated title fee adjustments went into effect the first of July. In a nation-wide comparison, ohio's same-day title service continues to provide outstanding service at an affordable cost. The needed fee adjustments enabled each of ohio's 88 counties to continue to have a self-sufficient title office.