Clerk candidates


When asked what motivated him to run for clerk, Roger Black said that he hadn’t given the idea any thought until he was approached by a group of people who appreciated his dedication to public service and asked him to run.

When Peterson decided to retire, Deborah Diemer said he asked her to run for clerk.  She has worked in the office for 19 years and said that she wants to hold together the group of employees that work so well with each other.

Kym Rouillard said that she enjoyed her time working in the Fluvanna clerk’s office and was interested in running for clerk when Peterson retired.  So she has spent the last six years taking as many job-related classes as she could.

Rovelle Brown said that he has always been passionate about education, customer service, and technology, and wants to give back to the citizens of Fluvanna.

As a goal-oriented person, Tristana Treadway said that she set her sights on running for clerk when the office became available, and has worked hard while waiting to gain the necessary knowledge.

When asked what she specifically could bring to the office, Treadway pointed out that she is the only attorney on the ballot, which she said gives her specialized knowledge and expertise that none of the other candidates can bring.

Brown said that his advanced education – Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees – distinguish him from the other candidates, as do his 17 years of experience in the justice system as a magistrate and his time spent successfully managing a business with 50 employees.

While education is good, Rouillard pointed out that clerks don’t practice law or give judicial advice.  What matters, she said, is her experience in the office.  She has started in entry-level positions in three separate careers and worked her way to the senior level.

Diemer has obtained 11 grants totaling $91,500 for the clerk’s office since 2002, she said, and has experience with the over 800 duties of the office.  Her office goes above and beyond and receives numerous compliments, she said, and she wants to continue that for the county.

Black said that his jobs in public service have given him an old-fashioned opinion of what it takes to be a public servant, which he said includes a willingness to meet with people after hours and on weekends.  He said his leadership can keep the “stellar” clerk’s office motivated.

The next question asked how candidates would reduce a supposed “significant backlog” of resolved cases needing to be filed.

Brown wants to go paperless, he said, and make documents accessible to the public and justice stakeholders via electronic filing.

Unsure about the existence of a backlog, Black said dealing with it might require a cross-trained employee stepping in to help with filing.

“We don’t have a backlog,” stated Diemer.  “Everything gets filed as it comes in the clerk’s office.”

Agreeing that there is no backlog of cases, Treadway said that the backlog actually exists in the indexing of cases in the law, criminal, and civil order books.  Staff has worked over the past two weeks to cut the backlog in half, she said.  If elected she would come up with more efficient procedures, such as foregoing the use of typewriters.

One way to avoid indexes getting behind is to switch over to a scanning system, said Rouillard.  Since the transition to scanned documents can be hard to make, she said she would probably use paper and electronic systems in conjunction for a period of time.

When asked what changes she would make to the clerk’s office, Rouillard said that she would make the deed books paperless.  Though the clerk’s office is already doing that, she said they are still maintaining paper books and are running out of space.  Maintaining the dual system is expensive and “there is no need for it,” she said.  She would also implement electronic filing so attorneys can file cases from their offices.

Diemer would go to what she called a fileless system so that information would be stored on the computer, which she said would eliminate the need to purchase files and paper.  She would also ask her staff to become trained in the master deputy clerk program, which she said is a high-incentive program that would be beneficial to the “county as a whole.”

Brown wants to utilize electronic filing and a paperless system, which he said would make documents more accessible to the public.  He also wants to barcode arrest warrants to facilitate easy scanning and processing and to reduce mistakes.

Finding it “hard to imagine” that a clerk’s office that runs as efficiently as Fluvanna’s could have any critical need for change, Black said that he would implement changes only after spending time in the office and engaging the institutional knowledge of the deputy clerks.

Treadway wants to strengthen partnerships between the clerk’s office and other constitutional offices.  She would also work to reduce the amount of duplicated work that takes place in the office by streamlining processes to make them more efficient.

In her closing statement, Treadway pointed out that though being an attorney is not a requirement for the position of clerk, Fluvanna has enjoyed “that level of expertise and knowledge for the last 26 years” through Peterson, who is an attorney.  She can maintain that knowledge, she said.  Referencing her volunteer experiences in the county, she said she has been an intricate part of Fluvanna.  She said she is driven and motivated with the right education and experience.

Brown’s 17 years of magistrate experience and 15 years of business management make him the best candidate for the position, he said, as does the fact that he is the only candidate with an advanced degree in subject matter that relates directly to the clerk’s position.  Being clerk doesn’t require previous experience in the clerk’s office, he said, but does require a strong knowledge of the court system, management skills, and a new vision to modernize the clerk’s office, enhance customer service, and encourage community engagement.

The only candidate to have experience as chief deputy clerk, Rouillard said that she has worked in a supervisory position doing the clerk’s job, especially when the clerk is absent.  Her education has been filled with the classes necessary for her to succeed in her job, she said.  She pointed to her long history of leading volunteer organizations in Fluvanna, such as Girl Scouts, swim team, and the Principal’s Advisory Committee at the high school, and said she is the best qualified candidate for the job.

The only candidate that currently works in the Fluvanna clerk’s office, Diemer referenced her 19 years of experience, her prior years as a paralegal, and her extensive knowledge of the myriad roles of the office, including the more complicated duties that she said take years to master.  After listing the day-to-day jobs of the clerk’s office, all of which she said she was familiar with and capable of doing, Diemer said she is dedicated, honest, and loves her job.

Citing his previous experiences in the fields of forestry and the environment, Black said that he is proficient in several scientific areas as well as in law and investigation.  His time on Fluvanna’s Planning Commission and the Thomas Jefferson Soil and Water Conservation District Board has shaped him into a critical thinker, he said.  Calling himself a fiscal conservative with an old-fashioned approach to public service, Black said that he is dedicated to Fluvanna.

All Fluvanna voters, not just members of a certain district, are able to vote for circuit court clerk.  Whoever is elected will serve an eight-year term from 2016 through 2023.  The election is Nov. 3.




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