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VOTE411 Voter Guide

Shelby County General Sessions Court Clerk

The General Sessions Court Clerk is responsible for the record keeping for the six civil divisions and nine criminal divisions in Shelby County, TN.Under the General Sessions Court Clerk is the responsibility for the Criminal Court which handles more than 100,000 cases per year. These are misdemeanors, preliminary hearings on felonies, traffic and environmental cases.

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  • Candidate picture

    Gortria Anderson-Banks
    (Dem)

  • Candidate picture

    Rheunte E. Benson
    (Dem)

  • Paul Boyd
    (Rep)

  • Joe Brown
    (Dem)

  • Candidate picture

    Tanya L. Cooper
    (Dem)

  • Candidate picture

    Adrienne Dailey-Evans
    (Dem)

  • Wanda R. Faulkner
    (Dem)

  • Michael Finney
    (Rep)

  • Candidate picture

    Deirdre V. Fisher
    (Dem)

  • Roderic S. Ford
    (Dem)

  • Del R. Gill
    (Dem)

  • Candidate picture

    Eddie Jones
    (Dem)

  • Thomas E. Long
    (Dem)

  • Candidate picture

    Reginald Milton
    (Dem)

  • George D. Summers
    (Rep)

  • Tavia Tate
    (Dem)

  • Candidate picture

    Lisa W. Wimberly
    (Rep)

Biographical Information

1. What qualifications and experience do you bring to this office?

2. What do you see as the top two issues facing this office and how do you plan to address these issues?

3. How do you plan to involve citizens in the decision making process of this office?

Campaign Phone (901) 461-2782
Campaign Email GortriaBanks4Clerk@gmail.com
Twitter @Gortriab
30 years of experience from working in General Sessions Criminal Operations, Civil Operations and Finance. Formerly the Deputy Administrator for both divisions. I am a Certified Public Administrator.I hold a Bachelors in Business Administration and a Master’s in Management. I was recently spotlighted by Memphis Business Journal as a finalist for their CFO of the Year awards in October, 2019 for my work done in General Sessions. I am also a proud member of Leadership Memphis and currently sitting for the Certified County Financial Officer (CCFO) certification.

I’ve been in management 20 of my 30 years of employment and have worked throughout every department in both divisions of court. The experience gained from working closely with the last two Clerks of Court has prepared me to be the leader that the Court needs. I know the history of the organization, it’s strengths and weaknesses, but most importantly its potential.
Access to justice - Increasing expungement and driving restoration applications which will allow citizens who’ve made mistakes in their past the opportunity to have their records expunged and get jobs to provide for their families. Instituting a community service program in lieu of court cost fines and fees to relieve some of the burden on citizens who are unable to pay. Another critical issue with access to justice is ensuring that some staff are bilingual to afford justice to the growing Latino population in Memphis.

2) Leadership - Improve the tone at the top and focus on employee development at all levels by way of 360 feedback and other professional development initiatives. It’s critical to have experienced/qualified leaders to steer the ship in the right direction in this new decade. We are faced with technology and data challenges being the largest clerks office in the state of Tennessee and with the right focus we can change the trajectory of our communities and workplace.
By partnering together with local leaders and other elected officials I plan to continue to take the court to the community. This will ensure that citizens are aware of the various programs we offer as well as changes in legislation that affect the community.

Periodic town hall meetings to discuss opportunities for improvement within the office.
Campaign Phone (901) 340-2189
Campaign Email rheunte201@gmail.com
As the Clerk of General Sessions I bring 27 years of “related” court operation experience. As a 27 year veteran of General Sessions Courts, I have hands on knowledge and experience to effectively improve both courts, operational functions, record retention processes and customer services. I have supervised and trained up to 30 employees (internal and external) on procedures, processes and protocol. As the lead SME (subject matter expert) of General Sessions Criminal Case Management System (Odyssey), I am the only candidate with extensive knowledge and hands on experience with its data and financial assessments. I am also, the only candidate that has already built an informative rapport with both the Shelby County Sheriff departments, the General Sessions Judges, Criminal Court and Pre-trial services to ensure citizens records are kept straight and procedures are implemented. I am the “most” qualified candidate for this position.
The two major issues with this office are: word of mouth record retention procedures ( passed on traditions with no true validity) and non-existing training programs. My first priority is to reform General Sessions internal record retention procedures. To create written policies and guidelines on how to process, document, and docket all legal documents that are submitted to the courts. And to ensure that the citizens of Shelby County are aware of their due process by timely correspondence. Second, I plan to implement General Sessions Court “first” new hires training program. Creating a more comprehensive learning environment that will permit an employee to “learn” and understand “how” to do their jobs. Providing them with training manuals as guides that will maximize their performance and minimize data errors. As experience has taught me that learning from supervisors or older employees is often inadequate and creates problems for business. Resulting in low morale and high turnover
As Clerk of General Sessions I plan to implement a social media page that will provide as an informational bulletin. In return, this will give citizens an opportunity to engage with the decision making processes of the office.
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Campaign Phone (901) 239-4502
Campaign Email Lachree37@gmail.com
I have a degree in Business Administration, I have experience working in many capacities involving management. I taught GED to adult learners providing excellent skills for them to achieve their high school diploma, graduating a host of students who are productive citizens.

Thanks, for the opportunity to provide my qualifications and experience, I would appreciate your support and vote.
I believe the office of General Sessions Court Clerk should expand its services in other areas of Shelby County. I would have to examine the budget to find out if those changes can be implemented.

I believe getting information to the citizens regarding the clerks office is pertinent. I plan to have an open door policy and create ideas to make the clerks office more productive.
I plan to inform the citizens in Shelby County the responsibilities of the clerks office in several ways to assure them of the clerks process and welcome any issues and concerns.
Campaign Phone (901) 653-7760
Campaign Website http://VoteADEvansClerk.com
Campaign Email info@voteadevansclerk.com
As a candidate for the General Sessions Court Clerk's Office, I bring current experience as the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) . I was appointed in October 16, 2019 by the Edward L. Stanton, Jr., Clerk to address immediate needs in operational and financial management of both the Civil and Criminal Divisions. In my role as the CAO, I provide strategic leadership, serve as a key advisor to the Clerk leading and manage the Civil, Criminal and Finance Administrators. Primary focus is ensuring accountability, evaluating trends and regulations to ensure effectiveness and compliance, alignment of policies and procedures, internal controls, including reengineering and automating legacy processes to improve customer service for the community as well as promoting career paths to improve employee retention. I bring over 30 years experience in auditing, budgeting, regulatory compliance, developing and implementing policies/ procedure and business process improvements.
The top two issues facing the office are currently projects under the CAO's office and will be continued in my role as Clerk: 1. Evaluate all business processes that have change as a result the implementation of a "new" system- lack of automated impacts data output. A. Phase I - Awareness - partnering with faith-based and other community organizations to share with the public the programs and resources that are available. B. Phase II - Accountability- clear all configurations and conversion issues. C. Phase III - Action - implement and develop additional electronic payments' options such as Mobile Apps and Kiosks. This will allow customers to avoid traffic and parking fees. 2. Action - Improvement of employee morale and retention through training and establishing career paths for growth. The Triple "A" Affect -Vote Adrienne Dailey-Evans for "Awareness* Accountability*Action
The citizens may be engaged in the decision making process of the office through their supporting of legislation both locally and at the State level that may be proposed to address recidivism and collection options. Additionally, educating the public on responsibility of the General Sessions Court Clerk Office would be beneficial and address through outreach to the faith-based and other community organizations coupled with Phase I as noted in #2 1(A) above and below: Phase I - Awareness - partnering with faith-based and other community organizations to share with the public the programs and resources that are available.
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Campaign Phone (901) 612-5518
Campaign Email clerkfinney@gmail.com
Twitter @clerkfinney
30 years of Leadership & Experience; Public Servant, College Graduate, Six Sigma Black Belt, US Armed Forces Veteran, Federal Government, City Government, County Government, Private Industries. Integrity, Accountability, Dedication, Honesty. Mentor- TN Promise, Volunteer-Veterans Court, Volunteer-Habitat for Humanity.
1. Record Keeping. The Clerk is the Keeper of The Record. As such I will work to improve the accuracy of the records to eliminate data entry errors such as duplication or triplicate codes resulting in unauthorized fees and Bookkeeping errors/over-payments allowed without auto-stops or notifications to parties. i will improve this by working with our software vendor to aggressively install safeguards within the operating systems to prevent or alert us of improper entries and over payments. 2. Accessibility. We currently have 6 Locations; 4 Downtown and only 2 remote Satellite offices. I will study the feasibility of adding perhaps 1 or 2 more satellite offices withing the metro but further from Downtown to accommodate the citizens who live further from our downtown center. We need to implement procedures and practices that simply make sense for the public.
This office is primarily an administrative leadership position, however the public is why we are here. Feedback from the public; (Defendants, Plaintiffs, Law Firms, the Staff of General Sessions as well as other governmental agencies) will be integral in determining opportunities to improve office processes and procedures. We will operating in a transparent manner making data driven solutions as opposed to knee jerk reactions or changes, without violating the integrity of the legal party's rights while following all Statutes of the Tennessee Supreme Court.
Campaign Phone (901) 825-8603
Campaign Email Deirdrefisherforclerk@gmail.com
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Campaign Phone (901) 765-5516
Campaign Website http://JONESFORGSCCLERK.COM
Campaign Email eddiejones4thepeople@gmail.com
40 years of committement to community and public service 15 years law enforcement experience 5 years Legislative experience 3 years Budgetary experience
1. 40 million dollar defecit in debt collections 2. The failure to implement statutory provisions that will allow disadvantaged citizens and the lack of visionary leadership to create an office that helps people to break the chains of bondage to a captive system.

Answer 1. Change the debt collectors for the clerks' office to company with a proven record of success with collections. Implement the debt reduction of debt that 5 years old. Answer 2. Create programs to improve collections through a comprehensive payment plan that includes Expungement, Community Services hours to freeze penalty and interest, add a civil attorney to the clerk office to assist citizens with legal representation, partner with law schools to provide intern law students to assist with legal representation in the civil courts.
I will hold public meetings with citizens to inform them on all proposed programs considered for implementation. Have open dialogue with them to share their concerns and provide sugesstive ideals and concerns.
I served as City Court Clerk 20 years. I was reelected five times. I handled a budget of 8-10 million dollars. I supervised over 80 employees. To make City Court affairs more convenient to the public, I established 8 locations. I also drafted and initiated legislation which resulted in the passage of state law providing citizens the:

-Drive While You Pay Program -Amnesty Program of 50% off tickets and -Mobile Driver’s License Look Up and Review Program.

In addition, I worked as Senior Internal Auditor for the Memphis City Schools for 20 years, where I was the contract compliance officer, coordinator of the Disparity Study, and accountant. I also served as Director of Fiscal Affairs for the Memphis Urban League.
(1) The two top issues facing the General Sessions Clerk office are automation and public education. Automation is of the utmost importance in providing the public with crucial information regarding their case. Automation will give citizens access to court proceedings and other factors which may influence the outcome of their case.

(2) The removal of outstanding debt over 15 years old is crucial to eliminating obstacles to public economic growth. I am currently collaborating with Tennessee legislators to initiate a law to accomplish this goal. Such a law is most essential in aiding citizens to become productive citizens.
I will involve citizens in the decision making process of this office through town hall meetings. Such meetings will address issues which they or their loved ones may face and provide education regarding their best course of action. Town Hall meetings will also give the General Sessions Clerk feedback from the public on its current means of responding to their issues and on ways in which they may be improved.

Campaign Phone (901) 626-0623
Campaign Website http://votemilton@com
Campaign Email votemilton@gmail.com
Master of Public Administration in government management from the University of Memphis. Elected twice as Shelby County Commissioner, District 10. 20 years as President/Founder of SMA, Inc. a nonprofit that serve youth transitioning from foster care.
Employee engagement is most critical. In dealing with a bureaucracy insuring that employees feel self worth and valued creates a productive working environment.

As the "keeper of records" this office must embrace technology that will allow for better accessing and maintenance of records. The General Sessions Court must be forward advancing but not at the expense of leaving some behind. It must be at a pace comfortable to all. This will require not just hiring those with technical skills but those with teaching skills.
My years of civic service will be vital in connecting with the public. As the executive of a community based nonprofit I have for the past twenty years focused on that one question, "how to involve citizens." This requires a clerk skilled at thinking outside the box. The clerk must understands the needs of community residents and more importantly be comfortable working with them. I have this experience and will utilize it create opportunities for this office to reach out and connect with the community.
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Campaign Website http://lwimberly4gsclerk
Thirty five years employed and was appointed as Manager within five administrations. I have extensive knowledge of both the Civil and Criminal Divisions as well as preparation of the Financials, Budget, O and M, records retention, and personnel matters, attended the Memphis State University-Paralegal program, obtained certification as a Public Administrator - University of Tennessee Clerk's Program, Identified a key person in computer development of both computers systems and played a major role in the implementation, have served in adjunct leadership roles for various school programs and for the Shelby County Sheriff's Department, and have been associated with the Shelby County Federal Credit Union for over seventeen years in a leadership role, serving as the Board Chairman for the past six years. I currently hold two working positions, one with the Mangrum law firm as a paralegal and collections manager, and second as the Compliance Officer for The West Tennessee Credit Union.
Efficiency and Computer Enhancements

I plan to address the issue of Efficiency by eliminating some appointed positions, reclassify these positions which will provide the additional staffing of clerks to process the abundant work load and provide additional training for the staff. This transition will also provide additional available funds in the personnel budget.

The overall processes within both divisions require an overview. Computer enhancements could be implemented in so many of these processes that would be beneficial to the staff and to the citizens of Shelby County.

I plan to create a committee of staff members and Judges. Together we would attend community town hall meetings providing vital court information to the citizens. We would identify their needs and bring this information to our legislative body within Shelby County and the State. I also want to enhance the community adjunct leadership roles for various school programs.