Employee Resources

Message From County Administrator

Published:  April 13, 2020

With the continued temporary suspension of non-essential County operations, I want to begin this week by sharing an innovative service delivery story from the Clerk-Recorder-Assessor for the issuance of marriage licenses. With state law prescribing that couples seeking to obtain a marriage license must appear before the County Clerk together ­and in person, staff brainstormed for a way to provide an in-person service that was safe to both employees and members of the public.

The County Clerk shares

“As the Shelter in Place continued, it became more and more clear the importance of issuing marriage licenses and performing ceremonies as many customers became concerned about dying and other medical decisions, layoffs and the need to get on their partner’s medical insurance, approaching deadlines on 90-Day Fiancé visas, and general desire for ceremony dates important to the couple. 

 County Clerk Window during COVID19

We came up with a plan to have the couple prepare their marriage license application online, scan images of their photo ID, staff goes through the application by phone, and then schedules an appointment.  We would then have the couple review any updates by email and confirm everything looks correct.  Both parties to the marriage appear in person before the County Clerk and bring the original versions of the ID we already reviewed remotely.  We moved a mat with footprints outside facing the pane glass between the County Clerk and the Tax Collector’s Offices.  Additionally, we taped up a makeshift square so the couple would know where to look. Since only couples are allowed to appear, our office supplies a witness and fulfills the role of officiant.  We have waived the witness fee of $23.00 and in exchange, the couple receives a Certified Copy of the Marriage Record upon completion of the ceremony.  Appointments are offered Monday through Friday at 8:30 AM, 9:30 AM, and 10:30 AM and one party to the marriage must be a Sonoma County resident.”

This is only one example of the exemplary and outstanding commitment to service of our County family. I hope to share more department stories in the days to come. Thank you for all that you have done and continue to do for our community!

Other County Response Updates:

  • As of April 13th, there are 147 cases of confirmed coronavirus in Sonoma County. Of this, 84 are active, 61 have recovered, and two resulted in deaths. A total of 3,626 coronavirus tests have been completed to date. For more details, visit the Sonoma County Novel Coronavirus Dashboard.
  • On April 10th the Sonoma County Health Officer issued a Public Health Emergency Isolation Order for individuals who test positive for COVID-19. The Blanket Quarantine Order requires others in the same household and in close contact with the COVID-19 positive person to quarantine.  The new blanket order replaces the Health Officer’s previous orders requiring people to isolate and quarantine on a case-by-case basis. The new blanket order applies to all persons with COVID-19 or who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 in Sonoma County.
  • The Virtual Local Assistance Center (LAC) is now live. The Virtual LAC provides a resource listing of government and support services to help residents impacted by COVID-19.
  • The Sonoma County Public Health Officer, Dr. Sundari Mase, provides live daily coronavirus updates on Sonoma County ’s Facebook page. Join her Monday – Friday at 3:30pm. Non-Facebook users can view recorded daily briefings by visiting facebook.com/CountyofSonoma/live.

County and Employee Resources

We are living in a new environment that demands so much from our community, businesses and our individual lives. It can be easy to feel frustrated and overwhelmed as we continue to adapt to rapidly changing conditions and disruptions to our work and usual routines. As more challenges arise, the more important it will be to draw on our inner strengths, and so I encourage us all to practice patience, kindness, and compassion for the benefit of our physical, emotional and social health during a time when we need it most.



Sheryl Bratton
County Administrator

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