“We’ve done them when we can,” said Karen Varni, the clerk-recorder in Calaveras County. “They’ve been squeezed into other things, and due to budget restraints in our county and no actual place to do them, we’re not set up to do them.”
She said they had considered stopping them before the May 15 court decision, but then decided it was necessary with the expected increase.
Calavaras County has about 40,000 residents with less than 3,000 living in the county seat of San Andreas. I find it likely that Varni does not have the resources that Barnett has at her disposal so her protestations seem a bit more sincere.
Smaller rural counties in central California are not so much worried that local residents will swamp them with demands for same-sex marriage.
Local gay couples aren’t lining up to get marriage licenses at the county clerks’ offices in Calaveras and Tuolumne counties, at least not yet, but county employees are still bracing for a stream of applications from outsiders.
That’s because the San Francisco County Clerk’s Office, like some clerk’s offices in large metropolitan areas, has a long waiting list of people seeking marriage licenses. With the May 15 California Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage, the list could get even longer.
If Varni genuinely is concerned about personnel, however, she could call the office of San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom as he’s promised to loan staff to those counties that cannot perform marriages.
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