City of Utica’s Assistant Corporation Counsel, Merima Smajic-Oren, Esq., recently announced her campaign for Oneida County Clerk.
Smajic-Oren has been a proud resident of Utica since arriving in the United States as a refugee from Bosnia in the 1990s. A graduate of both Mohawk Valley Community College and Utica College, Smajic-Oren attended Albany Law School where she earned her law degree in 2013. Since then, she has dedicated her career to public service through her work as Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of Utica. In addition, Smajic-Oren works in the City’s Department of Assessment and is a Licensed Associate Broker with Coldwell Banker Prime Properties in New Hartford.
“As a practicing municipal attorney, I interact with the County Clerk’s office on a regular basis, so I have a clear understanding of the responsibilities this opportunity comes with, as well as the improvements that are needed if our community is to have a resounding impact,” Smajic-Oren said.
The County Clerk’s most well-known responsibility is for the day-to-day operations of the Department of Motor Vehicles in accordance with New York State and federal laws and regulations. The Oneida County Clerk’s office also oversees the processing, filing, scanning, and storing of tens of thousands of vital property, business, and court documents, including mortgages, deeds, power of attorney, discharge of mortgages, and judgments. Additionally, the office provides the public with access to notaries, as well as passport and naturalization services, and is responsible for storing and maintaining current and historical County Records as well as overseeing the proper retention and destruction based on New York State Guidelines.
“I am approaching this campaign with the mindset that Oneida County residents and taxpayers will be my employer. I am confident that my education and work experience are clear evidence that I possess the requisite skill set to represent Oneida County residents as County Clerk. As a practicing attorney, I will save Oneida County taxpayers money through my ability to read and interpret laws without having to rely on the County Attorney’s office, saving valuable time and resources for both county offices. My legal background will also allow me to help make fiscally responsible decisions supported by state and federal law to streamline and improve services at the DMV, secure grant funding, and modernize all operations in the Clerk’s office,” said Smajic-Oren.
“Serving our area has been a goal of mine since before I could register to vote, and I hope I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity to serve the residents of our great community as the next Oneida County Clerk. When my family arrived in the United States, this community welcomed us with open arms and I am committed to paying my gratitude forward through public service,” she continued.
Smajic-Oren is married to Zach Oren, who is also an attorney. She has been endorsed by the Oneida County Democratic Party and New York State Working Families Party.