Local Elections

Pamela J. "Pam" McGuire, Will County Clerk of the Circuit Court

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Candidate Full Name: Pamela J. "Pam" McGuire

Office: Will County Circuit Clerk of Court

Party: Democrat

Email Address: willclerk@comcast.net

Web Site: pamelajmcguire.com

Campaign Name: Pam McGuire Candidate for Clerk of the Circuit Court 12th Judicial Circuit Court

Campaign Office Mailing Address: 903 Pearson Drive, Joliet, IL 60435

Phone: Home-815-729-2559, Mobile-815-600-3584, Office-815-774-7855

Survey Questions (Character limit of 2,000 per response)

1. Since many people dislike jury duty and try to avoid it, should such duty be optional?

A juror is an integral part of the process that ensures the protection of individual rights and liberties. To serve on jury duty is one of the most important civic duties one can perform. It would be impossible to obtain a jury of one's peers and ensure system integrity if jury duty was optional. Every person has the right and expectation that his/her fellow Americans will fulfill their duty.

2. Should your office be elective or appointive?

The Circuit Clerk should continue to be an elective position to ensure a checks and balance system remains in place. If the position were appointed, complacency may arise and the individual may be obligated to specific individuals instead of the voters and residents of Will County; this, in turn, would compromise the integrity of the office and records. As an elected position, there is a greater motivation to ensure an efficient office that provides excellent service to its citizens.

3. What can the clerk do to make the justice system function more efficiently?

As the Circuit Clerk, I was an integral part of forming the Will County Justice Agency Partners. The present goal of the committee is to share specific data electronically, utilizing technology to coordinate with other justice agencies in order to make the system more efficient. For example, our office has implemented "e-Ticket" technology which will reduce redundant data entry for the agency and our office and produce a more legible ticket. This decreases paperwork for officers thereby increasing time on the street and maximizing public safety.

Keeping with the Justice Agency's plan, we will purchase and implement a new court case management system consistent with national standards. This will allow data exchanges between the Will County Circuit Court and other Will County Justice Agency Partners as well as state and national law enforcement agencies. This new technology will be funded completely by user fees rather than tax dollars, will assist in the overall data sharing plan of the justice committee, and will increase efficiency - benefiting judges in managing ever-increasing caseloads as the population of Will County continues to grow.

Implementing paper-on-demand courtrooms, will allow us to take advantage of the millions of available imaged documents currently being accessed by our justice partners. The Circuit Clerk's office currently provides various County agencies access to these documents offsite, saving them valuable time and resources. The paper-on-demand approach will coordinate with our electronic civil case filing pilot. The Will County Circuit is ready to expand electronic filing to other civil case categories pending Illinois Supreme Court approval.

Additionally, working toward a paper-on-demand system will help the Clerk's office to "go green," reducing our waste and lessening our environmental impact.

4. What have you done - or would do - to stream operations and save taxpayer money?

I have taken the initiative to implement Electronic Traffic Citations, in the Will County Circuit Clerk's office which allows police officers a more time-efficient manner of transferring data from traffic stops to their offices, the courts and the Illinois Department of Transportation. As we expand this program to other municipalities, the redundant entry of data will be eliminated.

The new court case management system will be beneficial to both legal professionals and outside agencies. Attorneys and judges will have the ability to view their schedule and documents from their mobile device or computer. Also, by participating in a pilot program with the Appellate Court cases records will be expedited thus reducing the need for the Clerk's Office to retain a required security copy, saving time and money.

While in office, I have developed a variety of services that can be used through the Circuit Clerk's website. The website can be used to obtain court forms, obtain case information, status, court dates and also allows people to fill out court forms right on the website; pay their court costs; order documents or file a Supreme Court authorized and approved case from the convenience of their computer without having to make a trip to the courthouse.

The Circuit Clerk's Office is financed primarily by the Office's earnings and special funds allocated by the legislature. I have and will continue to utilize technology to sustain an efficient office while continuing to maintain excellent customer service. We have strived to limit expenses to the county; we are doing more with less, even with increasing population, caseloads and additional judicial appointments.

Through our collection efforts, over $11,000,000.00 in unpaid court costs have been collected and disbursed to county, local and state branches of government to assist with their budget deficits. The office has been fiscally responsible by collecting over $2,000,000.00 in interest revenue for the county.

5. What type of probation reforms would you implement?

The Circuit Clerk's Office is an administrative arm within the judicial branch of government and the keeper of the Court's records. Therefore, the Clerk's office has no authority to set any reforms or terms of probation. This is left to the discretion of the judiciary and legislature.

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