FRONT ROYAL – Those vying to become Warren County Circuit Court clerk - lawyer Stephen Jerome, Frederick County and Winchester Deputy Clerk Angie Moore and Interim Clerk Janice Shanks - participated Thursday in a candidate’s forum.
The seat is open in a special election as former Clerk Daryl Funk was appointed a juvenile and domestic relations judge halfway through his eight-year term.
Asked how to increase efficiency within the office, Moore said that proper scheduling and delegating can ensure “there is no lag in service.” She added that employee’s duties should be clearly scheduled to “allow everybody the time to get their work done.”
Shanks said she has already begun working on “user-friendly, how-to guides” for land records because while assistance is available, some people “just want to do it on their own.” She added that employees should have duties based on their strengths and weaknesses.”
Jerome said employees should be trained in multiple areas in the event someone goes on a vacation or is sick. He added that it is important to have the system for digital record-keeping “catch up a little bit” because it is “fairly new.”
Asked if she has previously managed a staff, Shanks said she once ran a local restaurant and catering business with a staff of 40 and she is uniquely qualified in management areas. She added that she now manages 10 employees and an intern in the office.
Jerome said he also manages staff in a law office. He noted that an important management skill is realizing the qualities of staff members to properly delegate work so it is completed efficiently.
Moore agreed that knowing the strengths and weaknesses of employees is key and “we need to put these people...where they best fit.” She added: “You’re only as good as the people with you” and employees must be properly trained, which may have “lagged” because it is a busy office.
In her closing statement, Moore said she is more experienced than the other candidates, has a strong work ethic and the desire “to be the best clerk that I can be.” She said she can “hit the ground running” and “evaluate the office with an experienced eye.”
In Shanks’ closing statement, she noted that she has helped the special grand jurying investigating the Front Royal-Warren County Economic Development Authority, and as Abraham Lincoln said: “You don’t change horses midstream.”
In his closing statement, Jerome said his goal is to reinforce the public’s trust in elected officials and he will do that by working hard to improve the clerk’s office and provide efficient services. He added that the clerk works for the taxpayers and every visitor deserves respectful service.