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Position papers: Medina County clerk of courts

10/11/2012 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

Maryann Chandler vs. David Wadsworth (incumbent)

Maryann Chandler
David Wadsworth
Voters will vote for one candidate for Medina County clerk of courts for the term commencing Jan. 1, 2013, on the Nov. 6 General Election ballot. The information provided below was submitted by the candidates, with their responses to our questions printed as submitted.

Maryann Chandler

Political affiliation: Democrat

Describe the duties and responsibilities of the clerk of courts and why you are the most viable candidate for the position.

“The Clerk is the ‘legal assistant’ to the Courts. Created by statute, it exists to serve our local Courts. The Clerk works at the direction of the Court by filing, docketing, indexing and preserving all legal papers for every lawsuit filed in Medina County. The Clerk also handles processing motor vehicle and watercraft titles. The performance of this job requires knowledge of the legal system, Ohio law and the ability to interpret Ohio statutes.

“As someone who has 17 years legal experience, working my way up from legal assistant to Judicial Law Clerk, to Assistant County Prosecutor to managing a private law firm, I understand the legal system and the proper role of the Clerk within that system. To say that the Clerk is the ‘business office’ of the Court is a gross over-simplification and similar to saying that our Courts are businesses with something for sale. I can assure you that our Courts are not businesses, but are places where county residents go to seek justice. My experience will enable me to assist the Courts in keeping our local legal system moving in an efficient and cost-effective manner.”

How would you propose to improve the functions of the clerk of courts? Please be specific.

“• The Clerk’s Office accounts receivable report shows that there are currently more than two million dollars in uncollected court costs, fees and restitution which are owed to the Medina County residents. A recent program announced in January 2012 allows the Clerk to enter into an agreement with the Ohio Attorney General to collect these sums. To the best of my knowledge, my opponent has not yet entered into any formal agreement with the AG’s Office to get this money back to the County. I will use my legal experience to keep up with collecting these unpaid sums.

“• I will be a full-time Clerk, who will use my 17 years’ legal experience working for Medina County residents. I will improve communication about changes in the law with the legal community, focus on staff training, improve access to information and utilize the most efficient practices to provide the residents of Medina County, the Judges and attorneys with the highest level of public service in a cost-effective manner.”


David Wadsworth (incumbent)

Political affiliation: Republican

Describe the duties and responsibilities of the clerk of courts and why you are the most viable candidate for the position.

“The Medina County Clerk of Courts is the business office of the common pleas courts and

“The Clerk further operates the three State Auto Title offices in Medina County. The Clerk supervises 39 employees at 4 different business locations and manages a 2+ million dollar annual budget.  It is a business management and administrative position, not a legal position. The Clerk does not provide legal advice and does not represent people in court cases.

“As a businessman with over 25 years of management experience and a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, and as a former part-time city councilman for over 8 years, I have the experience necessary to run the Clerk’s office as an efficient business. My opponent is an associate attorney at a small law firm, who lacks significant management experience.”

How would you propose to improve the functions of the clerk of courts? Please be specific.

“Since being appointed Clerk in January 2011, my accomplishments include:

“(1) saving taxpayers $200,000 by cutting office expenses and lowering my budget;

“(2) improving customer service with a new online payment option;

“(3) transferring over $240,000 in surplus Auto Title revenues to the county general fund to help balance the county “budget, without raising taxes;

“(4) increased out-of-county business at the three State Auto Title offices in Medina County, to help generate surplus revenues for the County;

“(5) passing the first annual 2012 state audit of my Clerk’s office error-free.

“Over the next four years, I will continue to save taxpayers money by holding down costs and will maintain the high professional standards of the Medina County Clerk of Court’s office and three State Auto Title offices. I will improve collections of outstanding courts costs, fines, and judgments by devoting additional employee time and resources to collection efforts. I will continue to explore the technical feasibility and cost of adding an online case filing option, which is already available in the federal court system, to improve efficiency. I look forward to implementing these improvements so that the Medina County Clerk of Court’s office will continue to deliver the high level …” [Exceeded stated word limit.]

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