As you may know, I am running for Clerk of the Circuit Court, which is the Chief Financial Officer and official records keeper of the courts for our county.
As a job applicant, I have a succinct message about why I’m running and I want you to hear it directly from me.
I bring a skill set that is uniquely qualified to the Clerk’s Office.
Because I have worked as a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) the past 16 years and as a two-term County Commissioner responsible for balancing a budget of nearly $4 billion, I am well-qualified to handle the full-time job as your Clerk and Chief Financial Officer. I have a deep understanding of complex budgets and cash flow and a proven record as a fiscal hawk for Hillsborough County taxpayers.
Information Technology is woefully lacking.
I’ve met with dozens of law firms and attorneys that practice in Hillsborough County and learned that they must manage a paper copy of court documents for reference because the Clerk’s Office has not appropriately invested in technology. Firms complain about the amount of time and resources wasted because they cannot access all of their legal files electronically like they can in other counties. Documents maintained by Hillsborough County’s Clerk of the Circuit Court cannot be uploaded from a remote location such as a courtroom, yet other counties offer this efficiency.
We need an integrated system of justice.
It is a common complaint that there are many agency systems within the justice system that cannot always integrate and communicate with the Clerk’s system. We will work in partnership with stakeholders to create an integrated system of justice where all systems can communicate and securely exchange appropriate data and information with one another.
Equal access to quality legal advice.
Income should not be a barrier for an individual to receive quality legal advice. In partnership with our legal community, I will expand services and community outreach offices into minority and underserved neighborhoods.
Creating a Fairer and more efficient Justice System
The Clerk of the Courts is responsible for issuing jury duty summons. Hillsborough County has the lowest jury yield (the number of summons issued vs. the number of individuals that appear) in comparable circuits in the state of Florida. What this means is that we are running a very inefficient jury system that costs tax payers more and may result in denying an individual the best opportunity to receive a fair trial by a jury of their peers. I will implement best practices and state-of-the art technology to create a more cost-efficient and fairer justice system.
From day one as your County Commissioner I worked hard to control spending to keep taxes on struggling families low and set clear benchmarks to ensure that our county government lives within its means. I worked dilligently to make sure our tax dollars were reinvested in our community neighborhoods – not wasted on bureaucracy. I’m ready to roll my sleeves up and work hard every day to make our Clerk’s Office the best in Florida. To do this, I need your vote by mail, during Early Voting, or on Election Day, Tuesday August 30th.