Macomb County Clerk/Register of Deeds Anthony Forlini, right, discusses safety protocols with Jeff Derowski, from the purchasing department.

Macomb County Clerk/Register of Deeds Anthony Forlini, right, discusses safety protocols with Jeff Derowski, from the purchasing department.

Photo provided by Macomb County Clerk’s Office

New Macomb County clerk focusing on additional safety equipment, training, digitizing

By: Nick Mordowanec | C&G Newspapers | Published February 17, 2021


MACOMB COUNTY — Anthony Forlini has been Macomb County’s Clerk/Register of Deeds for just over one month, leaning on employees to invoke long-term changes on the office’s benefit.

Forlini, who narrowly defeated incumbent Democrat Fred Miller in the November election, said the office “should be above politics” — which is what he said during his campaign.

He made his rounds with existing staffers when he entered office Jan. 1. He said he received refreshing and positive comments from those who already understand its inner workings.

“The first thing I noticed when I got there was some clutter and disorganization, visually,” Forlini said. “Employees have been absolutely awesome with some of the changes we’ve made. … They’ve embraced me being here, embraced what we are trying to do. Nothing could have happened without them.”

That has included ordering Plexiglass for cubicle barriers, so that more employees can return in due time to work safely at cubicles.

Currently, there are about 90 employees between the Clerk’s Office and Deeds. Forlini said a lot of juggling around has taken place, with more training taking place to fill a handful of entry-level employment vacancies.

As few as 65 and as many as 100 CPL applications are being filed on almost a daily basis, he added, in addition to the usual marriage, death and birth certificates and everything else the office provides.

“I don’t know if there’s any other office that has 100 appointments a day on anything,” he said. “We’re the office that the general public sees the most.”

More embracement of technology is part of the plan, Forlini said, in terms of eliminating voicemail as best as possible to better serve residents.

“Whenever somebody calls, there will be somebody that answers the phone,” he said. “There’s nothing more frustrating for people in Macomb County than to call their government and get a voicemail. They want an answer now; they don’t want to wait.”

In the next couple months, the office plans a “major rollout” of new software within vital records. Forlini said, “there’s never been a time than right now during COVID,” while the public is not bombarding the department, to establish better record-keeping that he says should have started five years ago.

Another initiative involves scanning and digitizing old documents. Currently, there exists a vast warehouse of files that Forlini compared to something you would see in a Dr. Seuss book, seemingly going on forever.

“We literally have just hundreds of thousands of files that have not been scanned,” he said.

That is a long-term project that will help alleviate the tediousness of locating physical files, pulling them, and employees possibly not returning them to the right location.

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