How can court efficiency or other areas of court operations be improved and what are your plans to do so if elected?
When I took office, I focused on improving efficiencies, reducing backlogged cases, and handling delinquent fines from the 1990s to present.
To increase efficiency, I organized the court calendar so that certain court activities happened on certain days: Mondays – jail magistration and show cause hearings; Tuesdays – civil trials; Wednesday – evictions and civil cases; Thursdays –- criminal pre-trials or trials; Fridays – emergency chambers. A copier was turned into a fax/filings or backlog. Technology was updated. Security was increased. Employees were cross-trained. New court documents were drafted.
To help pro-se litigants, I co-wrote local rules for Parker County Justice Courts and created content for the JP website. To reduce backlog, I set cases for pretrial and/or trial.
To handle past due fines, additional man-hours were dedicated to verifying that fines were delinquent and a collection firm was hired at no cost to the county. These efficiencies and others resulted in a reduced tax burden to Parker County citizens. If re-elected, I will add content to the county JP website regarding traffic offenses, will evaluate the performance of the collection firm, and will consider implementing video magistration.
Presently, my office is being trained on new Odyssey software that will further increase our efficiency and will allow officers to electronically download their citations to the court rather than require each citation to be manually entered by court staff.
Why are you the best candidate for the position?
I am the best candidate because of my consistent job performance for the last three years rather than events that occurred almost a half century ago. Since 2011, I have handled over 16,000 cases, magistrated over 1,000 defendants, issued over 2,150 arrest warrants and presided over 350 trials. Also, over the past three years, I saved the taxpayers approximately $540,000 due to improved efficiencies and compliance with the law.
My performance has earned me an endorsement from The Honorable Melvin Simons, who served as Justice of the Peace, Pct. 4, from 1999-2010.
Further, I am the most qualified because I am the only candidate with the experience and the education specific to the office of Justice of the Peace. I have been a licensed attorney since 1984, earning top ratings by my peers, and have 180 hours of JP training.
Also, I am the best candidate because, throughout my professional career, I deal with people calmly and courteously, I am willing to consider divergent points of view, and I treat people with dignity and respect.
Finally, I have a record of active community involvement and a demonstrated commitment to children. In my court, teenagers can avail themselves of the teen court program, based at JP4. In school attendance cases, I implemented a different approach which is more time consuming but has achieved a 96 percent success rate.