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Bakery shop owner wants to see a new face in county government — hers

An Eagle Point bakery shop owner has tossed her hat into the race for Jackson County clerk.

Colleen Roberts, 51, says it is time for new faces to emerge in local government.

"I'm seeing a lot of new faces coming forward in our races and I think it's great," said the Prospect mother and grandmother.

Roberts, who has owned and operated Sensational Sweets Inc. in Eagle Point for 15 years, has no prior experience as an appointed or elected official. But she "believes it is important for private citizens to participate in the functions of government, rather than it being left to professional politicians."

The county clerk oversees the Elections and Recording departments, which are responsible for ballot preparation, distribution, verification and counting; candidate filing, petition signature verification and voter registration; maintenance of deeds, easements and other vital records; issuing marriage licenses; and functioning as the Board of Property Tax Appeals.

A graduate of University of Phoenix with a bachelor's degree in business administration, Roberts is currently completing her master's at Walden University, an online school. In addition to her business experience, she has taken several courses and seminars concerning business operations and administration, planning, computer applications, budgeting, personnel management and leadership, she says.

Roberts said she would bring "a fresh set of eyes and ideas to the office of county clerk, offering efficiency, fairness, workability and integrity."

Communication with the public is vital when holding public office, Roberts says. From flaps over hanging chads to petition signatures, informing the public can alleviate concerns, she said.

Roberts joins two veterans in seeking the top job in the clerk's office: Chris Walker (appointed clerk after Kathy Beckett retired in January) and Cheryl Avgeris.

Avgeris, 54, has been a supervisor in the recording office since 2002. She has worked there for 16 years.

(See correction note below.) Walker, a 41-year-old Phoenix resident, has worked at the clerk's office for 13 years.

The county clerk job pays $74,110 annually plus benefits.

Reach reporter Sanne Specht at 776-4497 or e-mail sspecht@mailtribune.com.

Correction: The original version of this story was unclear about how long Cheryl Avgeris has worked in the clerk's office. This version has been corrected.