Chicago Tribune Candidate Questions

The Consolidation of “local governments” would be the exclusive purview of Legislative and Executive branches of government. How would you reduce head count and lower other expenses in the office you seek?

Since coming to office we have we made it a priority to reduce our headcount and live within our budget as set by the County Board. We have reduced our headcount by 14% through the use of technology and implementing cost cutting procedures. The expansion of eticketing allows for ticket data to move from the squad car to the DuPage Unified Court System (DUCS) without human contact and/or potential error. Currently, over 80% of staff has been crossed trained, moving from the counter to courtroom as needed. Mandatory efiling in Civil since January of 2016 has reduced paper, files and storage. We except to implement eFiling in Criminal with the same cost savings and benefits in the coming 6 months.

What county functions, if any, would you vote to privatize?

The privatization of county functions would be the role of the Legislative and Executive Branch of government. For the record we have privatized our imaging process a number of years ago with great success and reduction to our Corporate Budget.

What should your county do — via tax policy, spending or other policy means — to promote job creation? Offer three ideas and, if they would cost money, explain how you would pay for them.

Job creation through tax policy would be the sole priority of the County Board and Chairman.

What three specific initiatives would you like to accomplish if you are elected?

Initiative 1: Continue to work with the Chief Judge and County Board on the smooth transition of bringing some of the Field Courts into the House Court. This would be a cost savings to the county. Stakeholders and defendants would be more secure with the existing House Court security. Finally, with close proximity to the clerk’s office, the payment process would be removed from the courtroom allowing for a more efficient handling of assessment procedure.
Initiative 2: Field Court check- in will be priority in the next term along with a paperless court room. Developing or purchasing a touchpad technology that will allow the defendants or witnesses to notify the court of their presence. Upon the notification to the courtroom clerk, DUCS will retrieve the electronic case file placing it in order of appearance. At the time of trial, the Court, the State and the Clerk will view the same electronic file stimulatingly. Additionally, we will request permission of the Secretary of State, for an electronic facsimile of the defendant’s driver’s license so the court can be assured of who is appearing before them.
Initiative 3: Payment of Pre-payment tickets at the window. Allowing the defendant to pay the bond with a debit or credit card and plead guilty at the time of the traffic stop.

Tell us something we would be surprised to learn about you.

That Circuit Clerk’s office have been assisting the County Clerk’s office in imaging every marriage certificate since the 1800’s with no additional cost to the county.

Every month we compile a list of convicted felons that we send to the Board of Election Commissioners to have their names removed from the polling list.

Daily Herald Candidate Questions

Why are you running for this office? Whether for re-election or election for the first time? Is there a particular issue that motivates you? If so what?

I ran in 2004 to make a difference as Clerk of the Court. I am an incumbent candidate because I have made a difference and can continue to do so. Change motivates me to bring the citizens of DuPage County the best and most effective Clerk’s Office. There is still more to be accomplished and I feel my experience and dedication will deliver solutions which will continue to improve the office. The following are three goals for the next term:
Goal 1: Work with the Chief Judge and County Board to bring some of the traffic courts into the county judicial center. This would be a cost savings and provide a more secure environment for all persons visiting. Additionally, with the clerk’s office in the same facility, the payment process would be removed from the courtroom allowing more time for the handling of court business.
Goal 2: Traffic Court check-in will be a priority in my next term along with paper on demand courtrooms. Touch technology will allow defendants or witnesses to indicate their presence. Upon indication, the electronic case file will be placed in order of appearance. The Court, the State and the Clerk will be able to view the same electronic case stimulatingly. I intend to work with the Secretary of State for an electronic facsimile of the defendant’s driver’s license so the court can be assured of who is appearing before them.
Goal 3: Continue to press the next Secretary of State to add email addresses to the minimum identifiers for Driver Licenses renewals. Our office could use the email for court appearances, reminders for court appearances and for all related official contact with the defendant. This would be large savings in postage, man-power and paper.

If you are the incumbent, describe your main contributions.

Our main contributions have moved the office operations to electronic solutions with many self-help features. These innovations have proven to be cost effective, timely, and have improved service to the public and the justice system. Following is some of the electronic solutions that have changed the way the judiciary does business in the State of Illinois: Electronic filing (1st in the state), Mandatory E- filing (1st in state), E-appeals (1st in the state), On-Line Orders of Protection, Electronic Signatures (the only county), Video warrants and On-Line Traffic Ticket Payment.

Describe your position regarding the allocation of resources in the Clerk’s office. Are personnel allocated as they should be? Are there capital expenses or budgetary Items that the office must address and if so, how do you propose to address them?

My staff has decreased by almost 15% since I was first elected and over 80% of the personnel are cross-trained to support many different tasks. My budget has increased 3%, in total, since taking office in 2005 and the Circuit Clerk Office returns almost 2% per year to the County General Fund. Any expenses proposed must include a solution of funding prior to my acceptance of any item.

Describe your position on transparency in the office and the ease of access to the records by the public. If you believe improvements are needed what are they and how would you go about achieving them?

Policies on manual and electronic access to the court records by the public are under the control of the Illinois Supreme Court and local court rules. At the present time the Illinois Supreme Court has allowed only a limited electronic access to circuit court records. Through our work on several Supreme Court committees we will continue to press for greater public access to electronic records via the web and provide ease of use to gain entry to the court records.