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Shoshone County clerk to retire in January

by CAROLYN BOSTICK
Staff Writer | December 15, 2023 1:00 AM

WALLACE — Bittersweet as it may be, after five years in the position, Tamie Lewis-Eberhard is looking forward to hanging up her figurative hat as Shoshone County clerk. 

“I think it’s very important for the people applying to this job to know it’s a very diverse job, and you’re juggling a lot of things at one time. You come in the morning with a plan on what you’re going to get done, and when you open your email, it changes,” Lewis-Eberhard said.

Her reasons for retirement mainly stem back to her family and spending more time with them since they have moved away from the Silver Valley and she finally feels ready to step away from her role. Finding the energy to grapple with the changing political climate was another factor that she wasn’t sure she wanted to continue.

With a cross-trained team that is competent in many capacities for their small department, she felt that the people she was surrounded by were in a comfortable spot to bring along a new clerk and educate them on best practices for the many responsibilities a county clerk performs.

When she was first made deputy clerk before being elected to the position, she said that she didn’t know a lot about politics or all of the multifaceted duties that the role requires. People often conflate the clerk position with a secretary, but the clerk has five distinct titles and outlines in Idaho state code, including clerk of the district court, chief budget officer for all county departments, official custodian of all county records, chief election official, and clerk of the Board of County Commissioners.

Currently, the Democratic party in Shoshone County is looking for a replacement to serve out the remaining two years left of Lewis-Eberhard’s four-year term. Her final day as clerk is Jan. 24, 2024.

“I think it’s probably one of the most rewarding positions I’ve ever had because you’re really making a difference to not only your staff here and the way we do things, but the county benefits from those things. You’re basically a project manager and making sure that everything is getting done in harmony to make things better,” she said.

A drive to learn is one of the most important values that she hopes to pass on to her successor. The processes that are in place for the position are largely shaped by law, and so one word of caution is to talk to the different departments and learn how procedures work first.

“They need to know the whys before they try to change things. Come in and be a good team player. That’s what I would hope, because it is truly a full-time job. The job description changes every day, and you just have to go with it,” Lewis-Eberhard said.

Changes over time in office

With limited staff in a small county, Lewis-Eberhard considers cross-training people to multitask and help with other jobs to be part of her legacy as clerk.

“You never knew when somebody was going to be out sick and if they’re the only one who knows how to do payroll or accounts payable, or be court clerk, when they’re gone, you still have to have someone to step in and perform those duties. Oftentimes, it’s the county clerk that steps in and does the job. We’ve gotten really good at doing that,” Lewis-Eberhard said.

Using e-filing technology for some processes with outside companies is a relatively new thing for Shoshone County, but Lewis-Eberhard noted that once it was put in place, it improved county relationships.

When the Idaho secretary of state’s office selected Shoshone County among the first counties in the state to receive a random election audit in November 2022, as county clerk, she had to oversee the audit, which wound up being exact to the county’s initial reporting.

“We were perfect,” Lewis-Eberhard said. “Our processes work very well and our checks and balances, they’re very strong, so I’m very proud of that. It’s something that’s looked at and questioned all the time throughout the United States, but we’re very confident that what we're doing, we’re doing right and we’re doing well.”

Though the job may be a challenging one to get it all done, she stresses that the new clerk is not alone. The county clerks across 44 counties often work together to get those things done and help teach others how procedures must be accomplished. 

Anyone interested in applying for the position of county clerk for Shoshone County should contact the Democratic Central Committee through Diannah Fields-Brown at diannah.fields.brown@gmail.com or Duane Little at duaneelittle@hotmail.com. Questions about the clerk position can be directed to Lewis-Eberhard at 208-752-1264.


    Tamie Lewis-Eberhard and her granddaughter, Athena.