Q&A with Clerk of Court Candidates – Part 3
Published 8:28 am Wednesday, April 27, 2022
Editor’s Note: For coverage of the primary election, The Stanly News & Press sent questions to each group of candidates. We limited their responses to 200 words per answer. Answers appear as is, with the exception of editing for grammatical/spelling errors or length. This allows potential voters to see the candidates through their own words and gives equal opportunity for the candidates to respond. We gave candidates two weeks to email their answers back.
Clerk of Court
3. What are the biggest concerns you have currently for the judicial system and what are your proposals to address those concerns?
Efird: While there are many opportunities to make improvements with the North Carolina court system, currently my biggest concern is the backlog of matters within the judicial system due to COVID closures. These backlogs have added additional stress to already overworked and underpaid employees of the judicial branch.
I will advocate to the Conference of Clerks to get legislation to add additional staff to ease the burden of an understaffed office. Current work load formulas used to decide positions allocated are outdated and should be re-evaluated on the state level. North Carolina’s court system is behind the rest of the nation in regard to technology.
This year legislation has given more money to the courts to provide the necessary tools for all parties of the system to perform their jobs more effectively and efficiently.
While the Clerk’s duties are outlined by state statute, the clerk may put their personal touch on the office. I can ensure the employees and the citizens of Stanly County that I will maintain an office of high morale and confidence in me as their leader.
I can and will be an advocate on behalf of the employees of the clerk’s office in Raleigh.
Greene: Covid-19 has taken a toll on the court system and only time can remedy that.
First, I am smart enough to know I do not know everything. I would have a meeting with all the current clerks and ask their input on how they think things are going and how can we improve them. I have found that when people have an active role, they become more involved. This gives them a vested interest into what happens and makes the Clerk’s Office more effective and efficient.
Customer service is a high priority. I would like the Stanly County Clerk’s office to be the “Click Fil A” of clerk’s offices. I think everyone understands that analogy. How we treat our customers is very important, because that is why we are here.
Especially when it comes to handling estates. I know the state requires certain things and laws must be followed, but any way we could make that process easier and less difficult for the individuals involved is what we should strive for.
Lastly, I would make sure that the Clerk’s Office has a good working relationship with all law enforcement agencies, the District Attorney’s Office, and judges.
Blake: I feel COVID-19 over the past two years has placed a tremendous backlog in our court system. This has placed a strain on our local detention center and is costing the taxpayers of Stanly County thousands of dollars each month.
I will work hard with the District Attorney’s Office along with our judges to help alleviate this process. I will work with the staff of the Clerk of Court’s Office to help assist in moving this problem forward.
I am excited about the opportunity to learn more and gain valuable experience once elected.