Name: Barbara Ann (Holbert) Penson

Occupation: Floyd County Clerk of Superior Court

Party: Republican

Website: barbarapenson.com

What does the clerk of court do and why are you a good fit?

Floyd County Clerk of Superior Court is custodian for all civil, criminal and real estate records in Rome and Floyd County. The Clerk also serves as administrator for the Board of Equalization, issues new/renewal notary licenses, maintains all financial records -- including fines and fees assessed by the courts and intangible and real estate transfer taxes. The Clerk also manages/oversees all other clerks in their daily operations. The Clerk is responsible for complying with and tracking over 1,500 statue codes found in Georgia Law.

I know and believe I remain the best fit for the job. I am the only candidate with an entire career in records keeping and have dedicated my life to maintaining records. It has been my honor and privilege to be your Clerk for the last 11 plus years as I have continually upgraded and digitized all records for ease of access to you the citizens.

How will you change operations to adapt to the new COVID-19 reality?

Currently all clerks are working remotely and/or on a rotational basis in order to comply with social distancing. We were able to accomplish this immediately thanks to assistance of the Floyd County IT Department. We are utilizing contact tracing of all persons entering our work areas. We are strongly encouraging and accommodating all possible needs via email, digital transmission, fax, phone, scan send, or U.S. Mail in order to limit exposure.

Work is in progress to install a glass shield enclosure in the deed room, similar to the enclosure on the civil/criminal side. Our staff are provided with an ample supply of disinfectant, masks, gloves, hand sanitizer and needed personal protective equipment.

With the final implementation of the new case management software, we expect to have civil/criminal case files online by the end of 2020 which will further limit the need for personal contact.

What is the biggest challenge on the horizon and how will you address it?

As the Clerk, the biggest challenge I foresee in the near future will be the implementation of the new case management software, which includes migration of the old records onto the new system as well as clerk training on the new software. In addition to all of this transitioning with the new case management software, it is highly probable that we will be resuming the postponed and rescheduled ongoing full court calendars at the same time. We will continue to work closely with our judges and their staff to implement this step by step process alongside our vendor. This will be a challenging time for all affected.

I do not anticipate this challenge to measure anywhere near that of the malware attack in 2019. The malware attack was and remains the greatest shock and hurdle that we have encountered in my tenure as your Clerk of Superior Court.

Recommended for you