In an effort to present the candidates to the voters in a fair and equal setting, the Moorefield Examiner asked each candidate several questions.
Each candidate received the same questions and their responses are published here.
This week we feature the candidates for Hardy County Circuit Clerk. They are Democrat incumbent Kimberly Hartman and Republican challenger Rachel See.
With generations of family ties, Rachel See came to Hardy County in 1995. She attended Allegheny Community College and graduated from Eastern WV Community and Technical College. She is currently working as a physical therapist assistant.
See is active in the Wardensville Lions Club and the Mathias Ruritans. She lives in Baker.
Kim Kimble Hartman was born and raised in Hardy County. She graduated from Moorefield High School with honors and attended Shepherd College. She went to work in the Hardy County Magistrates Office while still in high school.
Hartman has worked in the Hardy County Circuit Clerk’s office since 2003. She and her family live in Moorefield.
Q: What qualifications do you have to hold the office of Circuit Clerk?[private]
Hartman: “I have worked in the Circuit Clerk’s office since 2003 under Janet Ferrell. I saw the change from the combination County Clerk/Circuit Clerk to its own office. I saw the change from all paper records to electronic records. Now we scan every document and we no longer use the order books.
“We were the first office in the state to pilot electronic filing of abuse and neglect cases. Now that program is in 12 counties.
“We are currently working on a new pilot program with the West Virginia Supreme Court that will save money for all counties in the state.”
See: “My qualifications for the office of Hardy County Circuit Clerk are as follows: I am college educated, I have a background in paralegal studies and I have experience working in a law office as a legal assistant. I have a hard work ethic, a positive attitude and am a citizen of Hardy County.”
Q: What is the most important duty of the Circuit Clerk?
See: I believe all aspects of the Circuit Clerk are important, but timeliness, due processing of and proper handling of court records/documents would be among my first choices.
“In addition, to maintain the highest standard of ethics and office efficiency in order to meet the needs of the citizens of Hardy County, I will maintain the privacy of my constituents and a positive, professional work environment in the office.”
Hartman: “Everything is important. You can’t skip a step, you can’t make mistakes because it will end up costing taxpayer money.
“Treating people, all people with dignity and respect is very important.
“Confidentiality is important in juvenile, abuse and neglect, domestic violence and mental hygiene cases.
“Financial and statistical reporting is important. The Circuit Clerk’s office handles funds for restitution, court costs, probation and land condemnation. Filing fees are also handled by our office. We are audited every year and have never been written up by the State Auditor.”
Q: How would you improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the Circuit Clerk’s office.
Hartman: “An upgraded computer management program would be more efficient and effective. Now the software we use for case management has a lot of steps.
“I would like to have a public computer terminal. It would allow the public easier access to background information. They could do genealogy, current open cases. We have already scanned documents from the 1750s to the present. They could be available to the public if we had a public terminal.”
See: “I believe it is the responsibility and duty of the Circuit Clerk according to the trust invested by the voters, to be in the office Monday – Friday during regular office hours and beyond, as needed in order to be as accessible to the public and staff as possible. I also consider this position to be one that requires focus and attention to detail. The only business conducted in the office of the Circuit Clerk should pertain to the job itself. In order to improve efficiency, down time should be utilized to organize files, catch up on paperwork and generally improve the infrastructure of the office.”
See: “I am a woman of faith and conviction. I believe in treating people with respect, regardless of the circumstances at hand. This position demands a person of character, discipline, intelligence and kindness. I promise to serve you all in these four aspects to the very best of my ability throughout my years of service. I humbly ask for your vote.”
Hartman: “When you got to the polls, think about who you want as your Circuit Clerk in terms of experience. I appreciate those who elected me for my first term. I have enjoyed serving all the citizens of Hardy County.”[/private]