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.
City: Highland Park
Office sought: Lake Clerk of the Circuit Court
Family: Married to Courtney. We live in Highland Park with our three children: Sheridan, Hudson and Arden, and our dog Bagel.
Occupation: An attorney and business executive, I am the Chief Deputy for the Lake County Circuit Court Clerk.
Education: Bachelor of Science Degree and a Masters Degree in Public Health with a specialization in Health Policy and Management from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia; JD from the Loyola University School of Law
Civic involvement: Chair, Technology Committee for the Lake County Bar Association; Co-Chair, Emory University Alumni Interviewing Program; Board Member, Distinguished Giving Advisory Council for the American Cancer Society; Chair, Mentorship Committee for the Executives? Club of Chicago; Assistant Coach, Loyola University Chicago School of Law National Mock Trial Team; Vice Chair and Committeeman, Moraine Township Republicans; Event and Political Director, Lake County Young Republicans
Elected offices held: N/A
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
My first campaign issue is to modernize the Clerk's office to improve efficiency and reduce costs to taxpayers. We must embrace technology to improve efficiency. By allowing the electronic filing of documents, we can continue to streamline processes, improve compatibility, and seamlessly integrate our systems with those used by the people that we serve. This will allow us and the legal community to reduce costs, passing those saving on to the taxpayers of Lake County.
Key Issue 2
Second, we need to utilize technology to improve customer service and increase access & security. By effectively utilizing technology, we can provide universal access to the services and documents that are currently only accessible at the Clerk?s counter in Waukegan. Instituting processes that allow e-filing and immediate access to court documents and information will provide 24 hour access to our office, improving our customer service while increase accessibility and convenience. By upgrading to a paper on demand system, rather than paper by requirement, we can immediately transmit documents while improving security.
Key Issue 3
Finally, but just as importantly, I pledge to maintain the Lake County tradition of fiscal discipline & accountability. Lake County has a tradition of fiscal discipline, and our taxpayers demand that we spend their money responsibly and transparently. We will continue the tradition of careful management of office finances. We understand that we are accountable to the citizens of Lake County for every dollar and every decision, and therefore must plan for the future and contain costs while searching for opportunities to reduce our budget.
Do you favor public online access to court records? Why or why not.
Absolutely. Since becoming Chief Deputy I?ve spearheaded the creation of an electronic filing system that is comprehensive in its approach to improving access, security and automation. I?m a proponent of remote access to court records and documents in real time from anywhere, and one of my main priorities is to utilize technology to create a seamless connection between the courts and those utilizing the courts.
Many circuit court systems now offer the public online access to basic case information. Where do technology upgrades to benefit public users rank on your platform? Please elaborate.
Upgrading technology in the Clerk's office is my first priority. We definitely need a more user-friendly interface to our system, and it is actually something that is currently being designed. While our current system caters to office operations, it sacrifices intuitive use for stability, speed and reliability. Any remote access will involve a more user-friendly interface designed to allow users to more readily access court records, and this will be a priority for me as Circuit Court Clerk.
Provided computer upgrades are deemed necessary, how soon will you pursue them and how will you find the money to complete the work? What changes must come first?
I do believe these upgrades are necessary, and I would pursue them immediately. There certainly is an immediate cost associated, but with my technology and management background I know how to make these upgrades efficiently and effectively to ensure that our expenses do not increase by achieving cost savings as a result of the upgrades. The office is run very leanly: we do not spend more money to operate the office than we take in. We never have, and when elected I can guarantee that while I am in office we never will. Right now we have the personnel we need to perform tasks effectively across multiple locations, handling a tremendous volume of court files and documents, and securely handling and processing money for the courts. As we continue to implement technological improvements, we will be able to reduce our overhead which is a savings that we can pass on to the taxpayers.
What, if any, new ethics-related rules are needed for the circuit clerk?s office?
I believe the rules put in place by the County Board and our management to currently be sufficient, and am proud of the level of integrity shown by the staff members in our office. When elected, I will work to maintain the highest level of integrity, and this will include ensuring that the best possible staff is in place to serve the public in the most efficient and effective manner possible regardless of their political affiliation or personal relationships.
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Candidate did not respond.