How long have you been involved in county government? What was your background before being elected?
This is my 23rd year to be in county government. I had previously worked in an attorney’s office across the street.
Why and how did you become involved in county government and why have you stuck with it? What is the best part of your job?
The attorney I was working with ran for State Representative and won and I was asked to come to work for the county. The reason I have stayed with the job is also one of the best parts of my job and that is when I am able to be of help to the other citizens of our county. I want them to know they have someone at the courthouse that is here to help them and that cares about them.
What’s been your proudest accomplishment as a county government official, or what are you most proud of as far as your county government is concerned?
One of my greatest accomplishments was making our office automated and bringing it up to where it should be. The thing I am proud of is being elected to be president of the County and District Clerks’ Association and working on the TAC Board and being involved in all aspects of our County Government.
What’s the best thing about your county, where you live? Why should others visit your county or what should they do if they are driving by?
We have a beautiful old courthouse that everyone should stop and see with lots of great stories to go along with the beauty.
What legislative issues are most important to you right now and why? Is there anything in particular you hope the Legislature accomplishes this session and why?
The legislative issue I am watching right now is efiling. I know it is coming and some of our Courts of Appeals have already mandated counties to start efiling. This is a great cost to our county to update software and equipment to get that started and I also want to make sure we are doing the right things to get that accomplished in an efficient manner. I also want to reinstate the bill that gives counties with prison systems monies each month to prepare paperwork on things we are not getting payment for.
How do you describe your job to people who may not be familiar with the day-to-day of what you do or the responsibilities of your office, or with the way county government functions? Are there any common misconceptions that you hear?
I often tell them it is my responsibility to make sure the courts have all of the filings and information that have been left with our office so when they go to court they do not have to stop and hunt for things. The more efficiently my office runs, the more efficiently our courts can operate. The biggest misconception is who the clerks work for. They always want to know who is my boss and when I tell them they are, they have a hard time believing that. They think we have to have another boss other than them.
What’s the biggest challenge facing your county or office?
Our jail issue and space in the courthouse. Our county is growing and we are definitely feeling those growing pains. I hope to be able to continue to run an efficient but helpful office and give insight on the needs our county is facing to our citizens and our commissioners court.