I pulled most of this from my first blog post about the Clerk’s race back in April. Even after all of the back and forth in the comments, so bad at times that I had to take down a blog post to stop it, these are still the basic facts of the race.
Your comments are welcome, but as badly as I hate to do it, they will be moderated and must have my approval before they go up on the blog. It’s a shame, but I won’t allow it to turn into pandemonium in the henhouse. Please keep your comments on point – you all know the rules. If you believe that anything I have stated is not factual, by all means call me out.
Today I want to talk about the race for Bossier Parish Clerk of Court. A lot of people are a little unclear as to the duties of the Clerk of Court and they are manifold. This is one office that will definitely affect you if you live in Bossier Parish.
Do you vote? The Clerk of Court is the chief election official for the Parish. The Clerk is responsible for making sure those precincts are staffed and equipped, that they operate as prescribed by law for the hours prescribed. The clerk also tallies the totals to report to the Secretary of State.
Own property? Your deed and mortgage are recorded with the Clerk. The office has all property records from the inception of the parish in 1843, so the Clerk is also an archivist.
Getting married? Guess who issues your marriage license.
Getting Divorced? Guess where you file that lawsuit.
Need a Protective Order to deal with an abusive household member? You go to the Clerk of Court to get it in motion.
Criminal cases, ditto. Staffing each Civil and Criminal Courtroom and issuing subpoenas? The Clerk’s office.
Been summoned to serve on a jury? That too.
This year the candidates are Jill Sessions, an eight year veteran of the office, and Monica Hudson, who served in the office for about that length of time under Wilna Mabry.
In the past, this was a hand-me-down office. Since the 1930’s, in fact, the person elected had experience in that office.
Wilna Mabry was Chief Deputy to Mrs. Broussard, who was elected after her husband, the Clerk, passed away. By the time Miss Mabry ran for Clerk, she had decades of experience and had served for years as Chief Deputy.
Joan Carraway succeeded Wilna Mabry. Mrs. Carraway had decades of experience and had served for years as Chief Deputy.
Cindy Johnston, our current Clerk, ditto. Decades of experience in the office and years as Chief Deputy.
This is where the chain ends.
The current Chief Deputy, Jill Sessions, was just appointed in February at the time that Mrs. Johnston announced her retirement. She only has 8 years with the office, and has served in limited capacities, so it is not the level of experience that people have expected in the past.
Monica Hudson, who currently works for DA Schuyler Marvin as a victim’s rights advocate, also has almost 8 years experience with the Clerk of Court’s office, albeit in the past.
The experience that counts comes from the 35 deputy clerks who work in the office. For the most part, they are capable and some have the decades of experience that really does matter. These are the people who will make a new Clerk, whomever is chosen, a success.