1.What do you think are the most important issues facing Wake County Superior Court?
Our court system has been historically underfunded and overburdened. Deputy and assistant clerks and public defenders and assistant district attorneys need substantial pay raises.
2. What in your capacity as an administrator or other experience qualifies you to serve as Clerk of Superior Court?
I have been a criminal defense attorney in Wake County for 23 years and have spent most of my career at the Wake County courthouse. I have been a customer of the Clerk of Court all of those years. I served as Mayor of Garner from 2001-2005. In my capacity as Mayor I reviewed a budget in excess of 17 million and I reviewed and evaluated the performance of Town of Garner administrators.
3. Do you think more hiring is needed in the Wake County court system? What else could be improved?
Yes. There are not enough clerks or assistant district attorneys to adequately handle the caseloads in District Court.
4. How would you define yourself politically? Do you think a person’s political philosophy is relevant to their role as Clerk of Superior Court? If so, how?
I am a lifelong Democrat. I served as Mayor of Garner in a non-partisan role with both Democrats and Republicans on our Town Board. In Garner we had great teamwork and respect for each other across the political spectrum. If I were elected as Clerk of Court I expect to help foster an atmosphere of bipartisan cooperation among all the stakeholders in the courthouse.
5. As voters approach this race in a primary, what sets you apart from the other candidates in this race?
I am a lawyer with 23 years experience with the Wake County court system. I understand as a customer of the Clerk of Court what is working well and what needs improvement. I will bring a clear and objective view of the citizens’ experience when accessing the courts. I have a solid reputation as a reliable, accessible, even-tempered leader and team builder. As Mayor of Garner, I worked with over 100 staff members and a budget in excess of $17 million dollars. I was a strong advocate for Garner and was able to build community support for new programs and new amenities that led to significant improvements for our citizens. I will support the improvements for the Clerk’s office that have already been put in place and will work to continue to provide services that keep our Clerk’s office responsive, customer-oriented and accountable to the public.
6. What, if anything, do you think voters should know about the position of Clerk of Superior Court?
Many transactions in an average person’s life require interaction with the clerk’s office. There are a broad variety of services including: responding to traffic tickets, settling estates and wills, securing child support, obtaining domestic violence protection orders, working on adoptions and resolving issues in small claims court. Having an effective and responsive Clerk’s office saves our citizens time and money. To learn more about tasks performed in the clerk’s office, visit the website http://web.co.wake.nc.us/courts/