FRONT ROYAL — Janice Shanks said she believes her experience in the legal community makes her the best candidate to serve as Warren County Circuit Court’s clerk.
Shanks is seeking to fill the seat of Darryl Funk, who will leave on July 1 before his eight-year term ends to begin working a juvenile and domestic relations court judgeship. Shanks will serve as interim clerk until an election — which she said over the phone is likely to be in November — to fill out the remainder of Funk’s term, which expires in 2023.
Shanks, 60, began her career in the legal world in 1999, when she became a court reporter and worked throughout the Northern Shenandoah Valley. She held that job until 2015 when she was appointed Warren County Circuit Court’s deputy clerk.
Given her experience, Shanks said she is the best person qualified to become clerk and if she is elected “it will be a seamless transaction to the staff and the public at large.”
“I have reached that point in my life where I can truly use my training and experience for the benefit of my community,” Shanks stated in a news release.
Before entering the legal community, Shanks owned two restaurants, which she said provided several skills that would be useful if she is elected clerk such as budgeting and the ability to manage a large staff. She said it also fostered her love of working with the public, which she said is one of her greatest assets. She also previously did clerical work at Warren Memorial Hospital and worked at the Warren County Chamber of Commerce.
Shanks said her main goal if elected would be to make the office more “user-friendly,” which she said could be accomplished by creating “how-to handouts” that explain how citizens can find there way around the office. She added that she would like to see deputy clerks be given a raise.
In general, Shanks said she would like to continue what former clerks Jennifer Sims and Funk implemented such as the “open environment” that welcomes all citizens because the clerk’s office is the “focal point of our legal, economic and social needs.”
The office, she said, should provide an open, caring environment that serves every individual who visits.
Shanks noted that she loves the county for its natural beauty and the citizens who live there. Because of that love, she expressed sadness regarding the Front Royal-Warren County Economic Development Authority’s civil case alleging $17.6 million worth of embezzlement and financial misappropriations against nine defendants.
Shanks said she is an optimist and would like to have the opportunity to hold up the community and “not tear it down.”
“We’ll get through this and we’ll move on...and I would just really like to be a part of making that happen,” she said.