By Paul Gottlieb
Peninsula Daily News
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PORT ANGELES — Clallam County Auditor Patty Rosand will not run for re-election this year and so will end her eight years in that position Dec. 31, she said Wednesday.
Rosand, a former county elections supervisor who defeated incumbent Auditor Cathleen McKeown in 2006 and ran unopposed in 2010, will garden, travel and spend more time with her husband, Jim, and the rest of her family.
Other than that, she has no plans — other than to probably attend a New Year's Eve party to herald life after 27 years in county government.
“That's the whole idea of being retired,” said Rosand, 59.
“For once in my life, I don't have to plan.”
Current Elections Supervisor Shoona Riggs, an longtime employee of Rosand's, also announced her intention to run for Rosand's position Wednesday.
The weeklong candidate filing week begins Monday.
If more than two candidates file for any position, the field will be narrowed during the Aug. 5 primary to two who will compete in the Nov. 4 general election.
Rosand, a Seattle native, earned a bachelor's degree in language and literature in 1977 before moving to Clallam County. She worked for 10 years as a service representative for what was then known as Pacific Northwest Bell and is now CenturyLink.
She was taking math and computer science correspondence courses while living in a cabin at Lake Crescent when then-Auditor Mary Hordyk, who had a summer cabin at the lake, learned Rosand knew how to operate a keypunch and understood binary numbers, Rosand said.
They were skills essential to running elections at that time.
Hordyk hired Rosand as county elections supervisor in 1987, and Rosand ran for office 19 years later, defeating McKeown with 56.5 percent of the vote to McKeown's 43.5 percent.
Rosand, also a former county Republican Party precinct officer, earns $76,978 a year.
She has conducted more than 110 elections and was instrumental in making Clallam County one of the first vote-by-mail counties in Washington.
The change led to the end of polling-place voting and the eventual demise of punch-card ballots.
Rosand said she appreciated punch-card ballots, though they created havoc in the much-disputed 2000 presidential election.
“They were faster to count, but they definitely were not voter-friendly for vote-by-mail ballots,” Rosand said.
She said her proudest accomplishment is getting documents recorded by her office online.
The Auditor's Office acts as an agent for the state Department of Licensing, processes passports and is responsible for recording documents generated by citizens that must be public records.
Those public records include deeds, mortgages, title transfers, military discharges, surveys, plat maps and marriage licenses — but not divorce decrees.
“We don't do divorces,” Rosand said.
“That's a legal matter.”
The office's finance division also audits 16 county taxing districts and audits and prepares the county payroll and the county's annual report.
During an interview Wednesday, Rosand noted that in 2013, there were 455 marriage licenses recorded by her office and 110,000 transactions.
She and Jim, 65, a professional keyboard player with local groups Haywire, the Soulshakers and the Hayshakers, do not have children.
That's why she can retire at the end of the year, she said.
“They can be expensive little buggers,” Rosand quipped.
Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5060, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.