Chancery clerk candidates discuss their qualifications

Published 5:00 am Thursday, July 3, 2003

Editor’s Note: Today The DAILY LEADER continuesits special question-and-answer series with candidates in thechancery clerk’s race. All three candidates are participating.

What qualifications do you have that should make voterschoose you over your opponents? Incumbents, what have you donewhile in office that will convince voters you deserve to serveanother four years?

Tillmon Bishop: Qualifications for any publicoffice require a person willing to listen to the needs of thepeople he/she represents. Public service can be narrowed down tomeeting needs, providing information and solving problems. Mypersonal background centers around economic development andbanking, which prepared me for full time public service. Althoughofficial qualifications for elected office is somewhat limited,performance after election will vary based on individualexperience. Having served one term as your chancery clerk, theknowledge gained will easily carry over into the next term so thatcreating a new learning curve will not be necessary.

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It was my goal to evaluate your government complex, which is nowover 20 years old, and give it the attention it needs. With thecooperation of the board of supervisors and county administration,much work has been done, in many cases by using prisoner trustys.Upgrading our chancery clerk record system to ensure safe andaccessible information to the public has been a tremendous successthis term. The excellent staff in the clerk’s office has insuredthe transition from copying documents to computer scanning/imagingin the record room, chancery court and board minutes. We now haveour older records, those seldom used yet extremely important to thehistory of Lincoln County, in better order, more accessible, inpart due to the assistance of the Mississippi Archives. It has beenmy pleasure to work with the board of supervisors, city officialsand the Industrial Development Foundation to determine the need forand location of a new industrial park. Thanks to the hard work ofmany, we are closer to that needed reality than ever before.

One important role for the chancery clerk is to develop workingrelationships with all areas of government: city, state, federaland county, particularly the board of supervisors. In addition,working well with the chancery judge and his staff is a majorrequirement of the job. The chancery clerk has the responsibilityof serving as clerk for the chancery court, youth court and boardof supervisors. It has been my honor to serve all these units ofgovernment, and look forward to serving again as your chanceryclerk should I be re-elected.

Charlie Hart: Managing resources andmaintaining proper records are necessary skills for the chanceryclerk. I have worked in business where budget management, preparingreports and maintaining accurate records were part of my weeklyresponsibilities. Experience in these areas is mandatory.

I feel there are certain intangible skills that could and shouldbe utilized, which would make the office stronger and morebeneficial to the citizens of the city and county. The chanceryclerk and all elected officials need to make themselves availableto the people they serve. The people need to be able to have helpavailable to solve problems that arise and explain policy asrelated to this office. I have people skills and work very wellwith others. Being a good listener is a valuable asset in any jobor office.

L. Ralph Smith: Education, experience and astrong desire to serve the people of Lincoln County.

Sunday:B> Candidates discuss how to operate theoffice in the most efficient and cost effectivemanner.