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Douglas County Board appoints next county clerk

Technical clerk Kaci Jo Lundgren will finish the term when Sue Sandvick retires in January.

Government Center in Superior.
Government Center Boardroom, Superior.
Jed Carlson / File / Superior Telegram
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SUPERIOR — The Douglas County Board on Thursday, Oct. 20, appointed a new county clerk to step in when Susan Sandvick retires in January.

After nearly 38 years working in the office, 23 of them as the elected county clerk, Sandvick announced in September that she would be retiring Jan. 19.

KaciLundgren2.jpg
Kaci Jo Lundgren
Contributed / Kacy Jo Lundgren

Kaci Jo Lundgren, a 10-year employee in the county clerk’s office, will lead the department starting Jan. 20. Sandvick recommended the board consider Lundgren for the position when she leaves.

“She’s just proven herself to be capable,” Sandvick said. “She’s energetic. She’s inquisitive. She understands things and is a quick learner. The area of elections especially, I’ve been training her … and she’s just really picked that up.”

Sandvick said Lundgren has a good understanding of every aspect of the office and has good technical skills as well.

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In addition to elections, the county clerk’s office isn’t just responsible for administering elections. The office is responsible for agendas, minutes and proceedings of the county board and its committees; is a passport acceptance agent; maintains the county’s land inventory and processes land sales; issues marriage licenses; and provides photocopying and postage metering services to all county departments.

“We’re lucky to have had Sue thinking about this … because Kaci’s been doing elections,” county board Chairman Mark Liebaert said. “Could you imagine if we had Sue walk out that door and we didn’t have anybody in that office who’d ever done an election?”

Liebaert said Lundgren’s appointment has the support of other staff in the office, and he felt better about making the appointment after an interview.

Lundgren started with the clerk’s office as an office specialist and is currently its technical clerk. For more than a year, Sandvick said Lundgren has been responsible for administering elections in Douglas County.

“It’s good that Kaci has been learning some of these steps, and Sue has been taking the time and effort to train her in on these,” Liebaert said. “She recognizes how much that office works with the county board. She knows how much Sue does for us. She doesn’t just kick me in the shins when I go overboard; she tells me that maybe I shouldn’t do it.”

Liebaert said he’ll be looking to Lundgren for some of that same advice.

By making the appointment now, Liebaert said the county can start looking for a replacement for Lundgren’s job to help smooth the transition in January. The board unanimously approved the appointment.

Lundgren said her goal is to continue serving the public in the best and most efficient manner.

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“I’m still trying to learn the role and learn as much as I can from Sue before she’s gone,” Lundgren said.

Lundgren will finish Sandvick’s term, which expires in January 2025. The seat will be on the ballot in the fall of 2024.

Shelley Nelson is a reporter with the Duluth Media Group since 1997, and has covered Superior and Douglas County communities and government for the Duluth News Tribune from 1999 to 2006, and the Superior Telegram since 2006. Contact her at 715-395-5022 or snelson@superiortelegram.com.
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