After 31 years of services at the Cache County Clerk/Auditor’s Office, Jill Zollinger announced her pending retirement.
“I’ve felt fortunate to be here, and I’ve really loved serving the people here in the county,” Zollinger said.
Zollinger started out as a part-time election deputy for the county before running for the County Clerk/Auditor position. Though she did not win the role the first time she ran, she was voted in at the 2000 election and has held it for the last 20 years.
While she initially took the job as a way to get health insurance for her family, as her husband ran the farm their son now operates, she quickly grew to love the variety of ways she could interact with the public, usually on two of the biggest milestones in adult life.
“We get to see these happy couples that are coming in for marriage licenses,” she said. “And it’s just been fun to see the different ways that people, during election time, come in and to help them vote. … It’s been a fun office to work in.”
In her tenure, Zollinger saw many changes. From being a court clerk before the state took over that responsibility to three building moves, to changes in elections, such as mail-in voting, which she believes has led to more informed voting since residents have a chance to review the positions and issues on the ballots for two weeks before election day.
“Now is the right time for me and my family,” she wrote of her resignation in an Aug. 15 statement to Cache GOP Chair Chris Booth, though she told The Herald Journal the pandemic also played a part in her decision.
“You know, it kind of starts to get you thinking about what’s important,” she said. “You make sure that you’ve got everything lined up where you want it to be.”
Like traveling, cross-stitching and spending time with her husband and grandchildren.
Zollinger was especially appreciated by members of her party, like Booth, for a role that’s “especially important for the county and so important to democratic process.”
“She always ran fair elections, always done that right,” Booth added. “You know, 31 years, that’s seven presidential elections, and of course midterms in between. That’s a lot of elections and a lot of time, and she’s done a great job.”
Zollinger’s last day as the clerk/auditor will be Aug. 31.
As she’s leaving the position halfway through a four-year term, there will be a special election in the local Republican Party to determine whose name will be submitted to the Cache County Council to serve as the interim clerk until the 2022 election for the position.
This is the second instance of a local special convention to fill an elected position in two years, starting with former state Rep. Curt Webb’s resignation in 2018.
Several people have expressed interest in the position, according to Booth. He said while the party has 30 days after the notice to hold the special convention, he’s tentatively hoping for mid-September so a name can be submitted to the council before its regularly scheduled meeting on Sept. 22.
According to state code, the council has five days to approve the name submitted for the position before it goes to the governor, though County Attorney James Swink said the governor has never had to intervene with an appointment in Cache County.