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Note: Answers provided have not been edited for grammar, misspellings or typos. In some instances, candidate claims that could not be immediately verified have been omitted.
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Office sought: McHenry Clerk of the Circuit Court
Family: Married to husband Pat for 25 years. Pat is a firefighter/paramedic for the Woodstock Fire/Rescue District. One daughter, Hailey, age 17, senior at Woodstock High School.
Occupation: McHenry County Circuit Court Clerk - I have worked in Circuit Clerk's office for 25 years, first elected Circuit Court Clerk in 2008.
Education: Bachelor of Science in Finance, Northern IL University, 1987. Masters of Arts in Management, Webster University, 2002.
Civic involvement: Woodstock Backers Club Membership Chairman Woodstock High School Post Prom Committee Woodstock Backers Club Fall Indoor Concession Coordinator
Elected offices held: Dorr Township Precinct Committeeman 2004 - present McHenry County Circuit Court Clerk 2008 - present
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
My first goal for the next term is to receive approval from the IL Supreme Court to move forward with our pilot project for the electronic filing of Civil cases.
Key Issue 2
Another goal for my second term in office is to work with the State's Attorney and Public Defender's offices to complete the integration of their new case management systems with the Circuit Clerk's case management system. Further integration between our offices has been a long-time goal in McHenry County and will increase not only our efficiency but also our accuracy.
Key Issue 3
A third goal would be to develop an electronic sentencing order for use in the criminal division courtrooms that would increase the efficiency and accuracy of the data entry in the criminal courtrooms, plus produce a criminal sentencing order that is clear and legible for our customers.
The office you seek is the hub of the court system. Are there ways in which you can improve the efficiency of the court system?
We are constantly working to improve the efficiency of the Circuit Clerk's office and the court system. We have recently been approved by the IL Supreme Court to file appeals electronically with the 2nd District Appellate Court in Elgin. Not only does this program allow for more timely administration of the appeal process, it also saves McHenry County tax dollars by steamlining our appeal preparation. It is a more efficient process for the Court, attorneys and their clients. We also have an application on file with the IL Supreme Court to begin a pilot project for the electronic filing of Civil cases. This is the next major efficiency improvement that I hope to bring to the office during my second term.
Is there technology that would improve the flow of business in the court system and provide easier access to the public? What would the return on investment be?
The electronic filing of Civil cases would be a major improvement to our current processes, for the Circuit Clerk, Court, attorneys and civil litigants. We have used an electronic filing process for traffic tickets for almost 10 years in McHenry County. We download 65% of the traffic tickets written across the county electronically into our computer system, and are always working to increase that percentage. The return on this investment has been a reduction of three (3) full-time staff members in the Circuit Clerk's Criminal/Traffic Division, which has been a great cost saving to the County during difficult economic times. Once we are approved by the IL Supreme Court for Civil electronic filing, we hope to bring that same efficiency and cost savings to the Circuit Clerk's Civil Division.
One of the auditor?s duties is to collect economic interest statements from elected officials. Do you believe that as auditor you can or should examine those statements and look for conflicts of interest?
I certainly agree with the importance of the Economic Interest Statement and as Circuit Clerk I file one with the County Clerk on an annual basis.
With the circuit clerk?s office being a statutory office with some autonomy from the county board, are you comfortable with the way budgeting is handled? Please explain.
I believe that our budgeting process in McHenry County is a good one. The McHenry County Board and our County Administration has been extremely conservative with the County's tax dollars and our budget process has reflected that approach for many years. Since 2010 McHenry County has been rated Aaa (the highest rating available)by Moody?s Investors Service. The County continues to hold the Aaa rating due to its financial strength, healthy reserves, and prudent fiscal management. I do feel very comfortable with the way budgeting is handled in McHenry County and am proud of the fact that my conservative fiscal management as an elected department head has helped contribute to the County's healthy financial position.
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