County candidates answer questionaire
In an effort to bringn answers to Cimarron County voters on where the local candidates stand on their respective offices, The Boise City News sent out questionnaires to the three candidates for sheriff, (David Dunn, Keith Borth and Fred Risley) and the two for county clerk, (Sandra Miller, Pricilla Johnson); what follows are their responses to the following questions:
1) As candidate for Court Clerk (or Sheriff) how will the office be positively affected if you win the office?
2) Personnel changes?
3) Will you be adding personnel?
4) If so, why and what would be their duties?
5) Duties not now performed?
6) Will you remove personnel; cut jobs?
7) If so, why and how will the office run more smoothly with less people?
8) What non-personnel changes would you make in the office's day-to-day operations? What changes would you like to see come to the Office of Court Clerk, (or Sheriff)?
9) What county-wide issues do you see needing to be addressed by the Office of Court Clerk?
10)How do you plan to address them?
Republican incumbant for Sheriff
1) If I am re-elected 1 will run the office pretty much the same as it has been. I plan to keep the close relationship with our senator and representative as I now do, to keep an eye on the new legislation and how it will affect County Government and the Sheriffs Office. Over the last three and a half years I have learned the ins and outs of how things work at the capital and have had the privilege of pushing some bills to get them passed and helping to get some defeated. Since September 11th 2001 I have had to learn all the new stuff that keeps changing about every couple of months or so by mandates to share information with all the other law enforcement agencies. I feel like the Office has moved forward and will continue to move forward with me as Sheriff.
2) Changes will be slow coming with the budget cuts over the past years and it looks like cuts again, changes will depend on the grants we can get. We got a grant for radios and some new bullet proof vests and are looking into some more grants for more equipment upgrades. I am also working with all the different entities that the office dispatches to make the dispatch service better for everyone and several entities and the Sheriff's Office is trying to work out a funding agreement that will be fair to everyone who can help fund the dispatching service.
3) Until funds become available I do not plan to add any personnel, but when funds do become available I would be pushing for my dispatchers to get their pay raised to the same as everyone else at that level in county employment and add one more full-time dispatcher.
6) I do not plan to cut any personnel; I have a pretty good staff and hope to keep it that way. I will be replacing any that move on to new jobs or that retires, but the plan is to keep the staff at its current level.
8) I would like to get video equipment for the vehicles, also digital cameras for each unit, and laptops and the uplink for each unit if we can find grant funds to make these things happen.
I would like to see the Sheriff's Office move forward making Cimarron County a better place for us to raise our families. I would also like to see the Sheriff's Office be a strong leader in keeping county government here at the county level, I would hate to have to drive to Guymon or Woodward to do county business.
9) Rural theft and the meth problem are two of the main problems in the county.
10) The rural theft problem will take an effort by the citizens and the law enforcement, the citizens need to keep a list of their equipment with the serial numbers or a list of equipment with special marks and their location for ID purposes. This gives us a way to enter stolen equipment into the NCIC computer and a way for other law enforcement to be able to determine if it is stolen. The meth problem also needs to be worked by both the citizens and law enforcement, so if you see something that looks out of place or strange if you call us and give us the information (color of vehicle, tag #, # of people, location, what they are doing that makes it strange or out of place) just what ever you see and notice so we can start looking into it.
With your help we can make Cimarron County a safer place to live. I would like to ask you for your help, support, and your vote on November 2nd. If I can answer any questions feel free to ask.
Independent candidate for sheriff
1) No response
2) None except to replace any that might leave.
3) Possibly add a dispatcher.
4) See above.
5) No response
7) No response
8) I would be a working sheriff, do more patrols out in the county, and have a good working relationship with the other agencies. Cimarron County will be my first priority.
9) See below.
10) I will have an open door office, myself or a deputy will respond to all calls or complaints. I will be a sheriff in the county.
I will have more training for all the personnel.
I will review all areas and make changes as I see necessary.
Fred Risley, Democratic Candidate for Cimarron County Sheriff
1) No response.
2) I will make this decision after observation. If I am elected, all personnel will be retained until they are observed at their duties.
3) I doubt it.
4) No response
5) No response.
6) Will be looked into if elected.
7) No response.
8) More involvement in the county.
9) If I'm elected, this will be looked into.
10) No response.
Priscilla Johnson, RepublicanCandidate for Court Clerk
1) My goal will be to provide excellent service to Cimarron County. I will bring to the office strong people skills, organizational skills, time and resource management, an accounting degree and 35 years of experience in the legal profession. I am self-motivated and have a strong work ethic. Knowing from experience the excellent service Cimarron County Court Clerks LaVerne Wells, Sally Wells, and Charlotte McReynolds have provided to the legal profession and to the public, I decided I would like to continue that tradition. I will represent Cimarron County in a positive and professional manner at the county and state level. I will strive to be an asset to the office and to the residents of Cimarron County.
2) My working contacts with the present personnel of the Court Clerk's office have been very positive. Both employees are very competent and knowledgeable and are familiar with the day-to-day functions and responsibilities of the office. They have indicated their willingness to continue if I am elected and I look forward to working with them. This will provide continuity with no interruption in the service the office must be able to provide in a timely manner.
3) No. The present staff of Court Clerk, one full time deputy, and one part-time deputy is adequate to perform the necessary work. Because of the required attendance at training downstate and other circumstances, at times causing the absence of at least one of the employees, the present staff number is necessary but no additional staff should be needed.
4) Not applicable.
5) Not applicable.
6) No. Because of the required attendance at training downstate and other circumstances, at times causing the absence of at least one of the employees, the present staff number is necessary but no additional staff should be needed.
7) Not applicable
8) The position of Court Clerk is a service position. It is the responsibility of the Court Clerk to keep the court files, records and budgets in accordance with the laws of the State of Oklahoma and the rules of the Oklahoma Administrator of Courts without regard to politics or personal agendas. My first goal as Court Clerk would be to provide a smooth transition by coordination and cooperation with the present court clerk and her staff following the election until I take office in January, and continuing with the same staff after I take office, so there will be no interruption in service to the public, attorneys, or judges. After taking office, if I determine different procedures or processes can be implemented which will improve the service and cost-efficiency of the office I will do that.
9) As previously stated, the parameters of the duties of the Court Clerk are prescribed by Oklahoma Statutes and the Oklahoma Administrator of Courts. The Court Clerk should endeavor to provide confidential, courteous, efficient, friendly and prompt service to the public, Judges and attorneys. In most instances it is outside the ethics of the Court Clerk position to address public issues or exert personal influence. However, one area of county concern which the Court Clerk can address is to save the county money.
10) I would operate the office as cost-efficiently as possible and cooperate with the other County Officers in budgeting and planning for the financial well-being of the County and providing the service the citizens deserve, including keeping expenditures within the county as much as possible.
Democrat for County Clerk
1) If I am elected as Cimarron County's Court Clerk, I will seek to have an office that expresses cheerful, approachable competence and professionalism. I would like to see the Court Clerk's office open a full eight hours a day, and possibly be open during the lunch hour, so that the office will be more readily accessible to the working public.
In coordination with the Cimarron County Bar Association I would like to promote the availability and use of the County Law Library. This library contains not only bound volumes of Oklahoma and Federal Statutes and case law, but also houses a computer terminal with access to many electronic research sites. I would hope that exposure to these fascinating materials might inspire the love of the law in some of our youth, and encourage them to look to the law as educational and employment possibilities.
2) I don't know that it would be necessary to add personnel.
3) Unless the work load increases substantially, I don't believe that additional personnel could be justified.
4) As Oklahoma progresses with computerizing its records and electronic filing capabilities, it may be necessary for the Court Clerk's staff to learn new skills; however, the office must operate within budgetary constraints.
6) The Court Clerk's office is presently staffed by the Clerk and the Deputy, who are full-time employees, and a Second Deputy who is employed part-time. With consideration given to training and education requirements for elected officers and deputies, as well as other times the Court Clerk or Deputy must be absent from the office, such as attendance while Court is in session, a three-member staff such as currently exists appears to be the minimum necessary to keep the office manned during business hours.
7) See six.
8) I hope to fully utilize the educational and consultation services of institutions such as the Center for Local Government Technology, the Oklahoma State Court Clerk's Association, and the National Association of Counties, so that our Court Clerk's office will remain informed of new methods and technology, as well as alternative methods of funding improvements. I certainly want to continue and expand the computerized indexing system the current Court Clerk, Charlotte McReynolds, has instituted, and would like to investigate the possibility of making digital copies of at least a portion of the court files, possibly probate and quiet title actions that impact on the ownership of Cimarron County real property. The long-standing tradition of simply allowing individuals to “check out” original court files should be replaced with more secure, technologically-enabled procedures.
9) I believe each member of the Court Clerk's staff should be fully able to perform all functions of the office.
10) I intend to obtain and implement any training necessary to accomplish that. I will initiate a system of cross-checks, balances and reviews to insure that any errors or oversights will be discovered before they impact on the public.
Boise City News, P.O. Box 278