How long have you been the Fannin County Clerk?
I took office on Jan. 1, 2011, so it will be eight years this January.
Prior to your election, what kind of work did you do? What got you interested in running for office?
I was a paralegal for a city attorney. Before that, I worked in family law as a legal secretary.
I realized I was often complaining about government but not doing anything to bring about a solution. During that time, I was encouraged to consider running for county clerk. I thought it would be a great opportunity to have a positive impact on my little corner of the world.
What was the biggest surprise or adjustment after taking office?
Learning to balance my county clerk duties along with those of election administrator was something I had been advised about, but until you walk in those shoes, it is incomprehensible.
What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced, and what advice would you give your peers across the state that may face the same or similar challenges?
Trying to provide champagne service on a beer budget has been a challenge. And I love a challenge! I have learned to use the limited resources available to me. We have a wonderful auditor and staff, purchasing agent and other departments’ staff who support my offices. When I am unable to find what I need or want more information to pull from, I turn to TAC. I wish I had understood in my first year of service just how much they do for county government and utilized them sooner.
Since taking office, what accomplishment are you most proud of?
I am very proud of a bill I proposed that was drafted by my State Representative, Hon. Larry Phillips, District 62, which passed through the House in the last session.
There were many attempts to get a bill passed for voters who do not qualify for a ballot by mail and who will not be in one location to receive a ballot while working out-of-county, such as truck drivers. With a huge, cooperative effort by many people, including Hon. Heather Hawthorne of Chambers County and Hon. Teresa Kiel of Guadalupe County, we got it passed at the House level. Working with the County & District Clerks’ Association, we have already planned to move it forward through the House and on through the Senate in 2019!
What do you find are the most successful methods for reaching out to the residents of your county to communicate what your office is doing and why it’s doing it?
Facebook has been the most prolific for me. I send articles to the local newspaper, and I use Twitter, but Facebook seems to be the most effective in my rural county. It also gives constituents an opportunity to ask questions others might want answered.
When you’re not at work, what are you doing? Do have any hobbies or something interesting that may surprise your colleagues?
I really enjoy raising meat rabbits, ducks and chickens to support our healthy lifestyle. I’m an avid reader of goofy alien abduction stories.
What is your favorite thing about Fannin County?
Without question my favorite thing about this county is the people. Fannin County people are hardworking, patriotic, salt-of-the-earth kinds of folks. We live together, work together and play together. At the end of the day we’re all family.