DOBSON — The most important election for Surry County clerk of court incorporates a few candidates, who are all Republicans, with no Democrats having filed to operate for that office this yr.
One particular is incumbent Neil Brendle and the previous clerk he defeated in a occasion main in 2018, Teresa O’Dell, en route to conquering a Democratic challenge in the November typical election that yr.
The 3rd applicant in the 2022 race is Melissa Marion Welch, who has numerous yrs of encounter as a clerk’s place of work employee.
The exact same set of thoughts was posed to all three, built to help voters discover about their backgrounds and positions on important concerns in purchase to make informed selections.
Shown in alphabetical order, the candidates and responses include things like those of:
Notify citizens a minor about oneself.
Response: My name is L. Neil Brendle, clerk of Exceptional Court for the county of Surry. I thank you for the possibility to convey consideration to the workplace.
I have served for the final four yrs in this capability, am 45 yrs previous and a resident of Dobson. I was appointed in December of 2000 as a justice of the peace decide for Judicial District 17-B, and served here in Surry for nearly 17 a long time.
Moreover, I have labored numerous a long time in the grading, highway developing and general public utilities development industries. I am a graduate of Gardner-Webb College, Surry Neighborhood School and have accomplished several several hours of training at the University of Authorities at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.
I am a follower of Jesus Christ and a conservative Republican person rooted in the Constitution of our excellent nation. I have been a lifelong sportsman with a like of the outdoor and taking pictures sports activities. I am blessed to be a father of two vibrant, caring, loving daughters spouse to an very supportive spouse and have 5 amazing puppies.
Issue: Why are you fascinated in serving as clerk of court docket?
Reply: I was born and reared in Dobson, where my mothers and fathers had been public servants in differing capacities. I discovered from a younger age the worth and reward of helping some others. My mom was a town commissioner in Dobson for quite a few yrs right until her demise. She operated the N.C. Division of Motor Motor vehicles License Plate Company in Dobson, and was probably my biggest influence in dealing with the general public. No make a difference how tough or time-consuming, every single person she dealt with was as critical as the next.
My father served as a justice of the peace, a regulation enforcement officer with the state Office of Insurance coverage and later on owned a design organization exactly where I labored for numerous yrs. Throughout large faculty and faculty, I was a mentor and referee in youth sports activities, which laid the foundation for serving some others. At the very same time, I was functioning for my father long hrs in adverse ailments at night and on holiday seasons which created me take pleasure in the benefit of difficult do the job.
I however attract upon the passion for public service and get the job done ethic instilled in my youth each day. For the earlier practically 22 yrs I have had the possibility to assist men and women everyday, and to be truthful, I have gained the larger blessing.
As a magistrate and now clerk of Remarkable Court docket I’ve honed and produced techniques that no other candidate possesses. I have assembled a staff of employees whose abilities and property rival and surpass any other workforce I have at any time witnessed. My need to proceed to serve has almost nothing to do with a title, electrical power or posture but only the option to guide and provide other folks without the need of delay, offer equivalent and simplicity of access to justice and to benefit from my abilities supporting some others. My judicial experience equips me much better than other individuals. I have a enthusiasm and desire that is unparalleled.
Problem: What do you think about the two most significant troubles now facing the clerk’s realm of duty and how will you tackle them?
Remedy: The finest challenge is also the largest obstacle experiencing us given that the unification of our court programs in the early 1960s. We are about to embark on the unavoidable journey of modernization, by transforming our courts to a paperless system. This initiative by the N.C. Judicial Department will have countless positive aspects, among the them streamlining the courtroom processes, escalating and easing access to the courts, strengthening performance and supplying a continuity of provider that is required as witnessed by interruptions such as the pandemic we just expert.
I also provide as a member of a technologies committee comprised of a smaller number of clerks across the point out, which will allow me to be a participant as very well as stakeholder in utilizing this transform.
Next, the improved caseload we have witnessed is unprecedented. Our business office has been phenomenal in working with the workload boost as very well as reduction of backlog. In 2017, 58% of estates cases had not been compelled for filings. In 2019, just months immediately after I took workplace, we experienced reduced that to 41%, and currently I am happy to say we have diminished that to significantly less than 19%.
While to begin with this accomplishment appears monumental, its price boosts when you think about we experienced an in general yearly enhance of nearly 300 circumstance filings in addition in that class much more than any year at any time. This speaks volumes to the raise of performance of our employees. I also provide on a point out clerk useful resource committee, and am fully commited to expanding the rewards our team justifies, which will help in the recruitment and retention of valued personnel.
Issue: What tends to make you the most effective preference for the place of work you are in search of?
Response: Countless attorneys, self-represented litigants, judicial officials, law enforcement officers and many users of the general public have mentioned the improvements of the surroundings at the Surry County clerk of Exceptional Court’s business since I took business. Our courts and providers here are regarded as some of the most effective, economical, protected and correct anywhere. I have manufactured lots of modifications and method implementations that have manufactured profound gains.
The advancement and growth of interagency relations, cultivation of workforce and variations to the environment and ambiance have been instrumental in bettering productiveness and performance. Also, the need to be a good chief is essential. As Theodore Roosevelt claimed, “The very best government is the 1 who has perception sufficient to pick fantastic adult men to do what he needs finished, and self-restraint more than enough to keep from meddling with them even though they do it.”
Our staff incorporates some of the most competent, experienced, qualified and type men and women you will at any time face. They are consistently presented and get advantage of coaching, cross-education and continuing education prospects.
In spite of the troubles of the pandemic, we were being constantly open up and supplied entry to the courts as needed by our state Structure. My background in human resource management, business administration and project management my judicial experience and never-ending motivation to provide the public are all belongings that elevate me as a decision for this place of work.
It’s difficult to summarize in a handful of terms 25-furthermore years of activities in these distinct locations, so I persuade everyone to get to out to me. My place of work door is often open up, and 1 of the ideal sections of my task is the time expended meeting and talking with the public.
Convey to citizens a minimal about oneself.
Remedy: My identify is Teresa O’Dell, age 60. I was proudly elected as Surry County’s initially Republican clerk of court docket in 2014. I have 20 several years of practical experience in the clerk’s office. I have served as an night teacher at Surry Neighborhood College teaching about the court technique and juvenile regulation. I also have been utilized with the Yadkin County Sheriff’s Place of work and Grownup Probation Business.
Having been born and raised in Surry County, I arrived from really straightforward beginnings. My parents are Gladys Hopkins and Elmer O’Dell. I graduated from Gardner-Webb University with a bachelor’s diploma in legal justice. I attend Antioch Baptist Church in Mount Ethereal and have been a Christian given that 1976. I constructed my first home at the age of 21 and my next residence at the age 31.
A registered Republican since 2000, I am conservative and pro-everyday living.
Concern: Why are you interested in serving as clerk of court docket?
Respond to: I want to carry on serving the superior citizens of Surry County. The courtroom technique calls for a strong and seasoned chief who is highly regarded by attorneys, legislation enforcement and the common general public. My door will always be open for discussion about the needs of the local community. Believe in, know-how and fantastic conversation are the keys to a prosperous clerk’s business office.
Concern: What do you think about the two most critical issues now struggling with the clerk’s realm of duty and how will you address them?
Remedy: Number one, electing a clerk of court who is aware of how to operate the place of work successfully.
The 2nd situation consists of shopper support, training and introducing staff to stability out the workloads. I want to be the elected clerk of court docket to educate the up coming technology of deputy clerks.
Problem: What will make you the greatest decision for the office you are seeking?
Response: Getting been the elected clerk of court docket, I have been on the work considering the fact that Working day Just one serving my constituents in estates, adoptions and felony/civil filings. Every evening I worked until finally 7 or 8 o’clock to check out the perform of 20 staff.
I am a confirmed leader with 20 decades of experience in the clerk’s business office and a trustworthy community servant for 30 yrs.
I am a expert in serving to people. For a lot of many years, I have been going for walks the extra mile to encourage folks to realize success. A clerk can be several matters to many folks. She is a fantastic listener, a voice for the aged and victims of domestic violence. She is a protector of the law and procedure.
The judicial procedure must be productive and significantly less nerve-racking for these who are experiencing sessions of courtroom for the initial time. The encounter will have to be optimistic. I will function intently with our resident Superior Court docket choose to handle considerations. My targets will replicate a clerk’s business that maintains correct data and exceptional customer services.
This is just one of the most critical elections in our lifetime. The major election will pick out your clerk of court for the up coming four several years. There will be no typical election for clerk. I am assured and prepared to return to that office environment.
I humbly question for your vote.
Melissa Marion Welch
Convey to citizens a very little about your self.
Remedy: I’m Melissa Marion Welch, am 41 and reside in Dobson. I graduated from Surry Central Superior College, Surry Group University and Appalachian State University. I am married to Brandon Welch from Dobson and we have three daughters, Kendall, Dannie and Charlee. My father was Danny Marion of Shoals. My mom is Debbie Hawks Dezern, from Beulah, and my stepdad is Steve “Doc” Dezern from Dobson. My mom-in-regulation is Judy Johnson Welch, from Ararat, and my father-in-regulation was Charles Welch of Dobson.
I am a Christian and a member of Salem Baptist Church in Dobson. I am presently the children’s director and oversee parts that consist of Holiday vacation Bible Faculty, kids and adult Sunday School, Upward Basketball and children’s actions during the yr. I attend a weekly women’s Bible examine and am now serving my second three-year term on the Salem Christian Academy university board.
Query: Why are you intrigued in serving as clerk of courtroom?
Solution: The clerk’s business office is component of my lifestyle. I grew up in this place of work. I was 22 many years previous when I started out my job. Through my occupation I acquired married, had small children, created a property and shed a dad or mum, all even though operating with coworkers that had been as shut to me as my relatives. I truly relished my career. I enjoyed coming to get the job done and processing all the task responsibilities that I experienced to comprehensive. I felt like my position mattered and I found pleasure in assisting people.
I delight in passing my understanding on to the upcoming generation of new staff members. I want to retire from the clerk’s business. I want to complete the race that I started. I always imagined I would make a decision nearer to retirement no matter whether I would like to operate for clerk of courtroom or not.
God’s timing is in His time and not ours. I have prayed and prayed for advice and route with my choice to run for place of work. I felt at peace just after months of prayer when I resolved to operate and informed my spouse my decision. I actually believe this is exactly where I am meant to be. I know the know-how and encounter that I have received in excess of 18 yrs has prepared me for this part.
Problem: What do you consider the two most significant concerns now going through the clerk’s realm of responsibility and how will you deal with them?
Solution: An concern I will address is client assistance. Workforce in the clerk’s place of work are community servants. Staying a public servant can be challenging. Most individuals who take a look at to do organization with the clerk’s place of work appear in emotional and upset. A thing has occurred in their lifetime such as a felony demand, a death in the spouse and children, dropping their home or little ones and they carry that aggravation in with them. The employees needs to recognize this and be equipped to address just about every person with compassion and endurance.
Quite a few men and women do not recognize fully what the clerk’s business office can and cannot do. We do not have varieties to resolve every single concern you have. We can continue to choose the time to discuss to you and describe our procedures, leaving you with a better understanding. We operate for you, the community. Buyer company requirements to be at the maximum amount feasible.
A further issue is coaching. It is a requirement for the staff members to be cross-qualified in a lot of unique spots. Existence takes place and another person will want to be out for numerous reasons. You really should not be sent away with no getting aided thanks to an absence of an staff.
The elected clerk demands to fill any vacancies in a well timed way and make absolutely sure the personnel is entirely trained. Training is largely on the job. Lessons are made available as a result of NCAOC (the North Carolina Administrative Business office of the Courts). I would make sure personnel accomplished lessons available in their locations of do the job. I would inspire them to retake classes for the duration of their job to be refreshed on procedures and mainly because guidelines alter.
Query: What will make you the ideal decision for the workplace you are looking for?
Response: I commenced my vocation in the Surry County clerk’s workplace in December of 2002 as a deputy clerk. I have 18 a long time of working experience, 12 yrs in Surry County and six decades in Forsyth County. There are three amounts of work in the clerk’s office, deputy clerk, assistant clerk and the elected clerk. Every single amount has its own set of responsibilities and tasks. I have held two out of the a few positions.
Though in Forsyth County I was promoted to an assistant clerk and supervised as a lot of as 20 staff members. I also worked instantly beneath the elected clerk. I was able to understand matters in Forsyth County that I would not have been equipped to as a deputy clerk in Surry. I want to deliver the expertise that I obtained from Forsyth back again to Surry County to put into action services that are not presently getting presented to attorneys and the community.
I have awareness and practical experience in locations these types of as District and Remarkable civil proceedings, domestic violence, courtroom clerk, jury, little promises, adoptions, title improvements, motor auto liens, legitimations, incompetency, foreclosures, head cashier, administration, payroll, advantages and time management.
While I was employed in Forsyth County, workforce from Surry and Stokes would access out to me for assistance. I was also contacted by lawyers from Surry County and the community for guidance. I am nevertheless staying contacted at this time for help. I imagine it is the correct time for me to stage out in religion and run to be your upcoming clerk of Exceptional Court.