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‘Implement an e-filing system’

Published: Monday, Oct. 15, 2012 1:15 a.m. CDT

My wife and I have been married for 22 years, and we have two children, a daughter who is a junior at Prophetstown High School, and a son who is a seventh-grader at Tampico Middle School. We have lived in rural Tampico for the past 19 years.

I believe that being a volunteer builds our community and makes it a great place to live. I have been a director for the Whiteside County Fair for 16 years, the last 12 years as treasurer.

I am a member of the Erie/Prophetstown/Tampico Knights of Columbus, a Morrison Rotarian for 15 years, currently serving as treasurer, a cantor at St. Mary’s Church, Tampico, for more than 10 years, trustee and secretary of the Tampico Fire Protection District, and an Erie/Prophetstown athletic booster.

The circuit clerk’s office is responsible for maintaining court records for all cases heard in Whiteside County, including felonies, misdemeanors, traffic, estate and civil cases. The office tracks the collection of fines, court costs and the disbursement of these fees.

Clerks appear in court matters to provide orderly administration and maintain documentation of court proceedings. Court documents are provided to the public at their request.

I have been employed by Whiteside County for 24 years, the first 8 years as an adult probation officer with court services, which required my reliance on documents maintained by the circuit clerk’s office.

For the past 16 years, I have served the public by providing service as the 911 coordinator. This service relies on technology to share important information in a timely manner when dealing with emergencies, with an emphasis on accuracy.

The Illinois Supreme Court currently has pilot projects involving e-filing of court documents. Electronic records allow easier access of court records to the plaintiffs, defendants, the public, media, attorneys, and the court.

Having two court facilities in Whiteside County allows for convenience for those involved in court cases. However, it makes file sharing cumbersome without electronic files. Transporting files by office personnel from one location to the other is a slow process and results in unnecessary delays.

I am experienced in using computer technology to facilitate the sharing of accurate information between multiple agencies. I hope to bring this knowledge and experience to the circuit clerk’s office to improve efficiency and make it more customer friendly.

I would encourage Whiteside County to implement an e-filing system to further meet the needs and demands of the public. We live in a society that relies on technology on a daily basis, and people expect to have information at their fingertips at a moment’s notice. The incorporation of e-filing would be a positive move in this direction.

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