Name: Keara Dever

City of Residence: Centerville, Ohio

Party Affiliation: Non-Partisan

Office Sought: Kettering Municipal Court Clerk

Campaign Page: http://www.deverforclerk.com

Campaign Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/deverforclerk

Campaign Twitter Feed: http://www.twitter.com/deverforclerk

Why should you be elected?

I am the best candidate for Clerk of Court because of my extensive experience as an attorney, successful small business owner, and my track record as a public servant.

I have been extremely active in my law practice since becoming a lawyer, and my practice has taken me to over 40 different courthouses across the State of Ohio. I have guided over a thousand different clients through the court process and have seen firsthand what different clerk’s offices can do to help or hurt that experience. I have seen what works and what does not, and I have encountered every type of problem someone could have when dealing with a clerk of court. I also successfully ran my own law firm and created all of my firm’s systems for record-keeping, accounting, and case management. That is the type of direct experience that teaches you what really works and what is a waste of resources.

Voters can also rely on me to always put the public’s interest above all else because of my long track record as a public servant. I have logged hundreds of hours of pro bono and volunteer service, I have taken part in numerous successful help clinics in our community, and I have represented dozens of indigent clients over the years.

I have never needed to be paid or made to serve my community. I know a lot of politicians talk about serving the public, but we need elected officials that back that talk up with action and results.

What are you top three priorities?

1. Addressing the accessibility issues within the Court:

Accessibility is one of the highest priorities of a functional and competent clerk’s office, as accessibility is interwoven in most of the services a clerk’s office provides to the public. One of the largest problems I see in my law practice is a lack of simple, effective communication between the court and individuals doing business there.

The clerk’s office is responsible for sending individuals notices, and their receipt of those notices is crucial for whether they can properly participate in their case. Furthermore, the clerk is responsible for maintaining the court’s website, which serves as the most-used means by which people can access the court and aspects of their cases. In addition to those means, the clerk is also the entity all individuals doing business at the court interact with at some point while in person at the courthouse.

I plan to take necessary steps to have updated addresses, send notices electronically, and make sure folks are otherwise being properly notified about their cases. Additionally, the online docket search option or option for payment of fines must be user-friendly so that individuals can navigate these online options simply and easily. Finally, for individuals who might have language barriers or physical impairments, I plan to institute procedures by which we can accommodate those issues so that those individuals are not disadvantaged or left unable to properly engage with their cases.

2. Updating the Court’s systems technologically:

Electronic filing is one of the largest priorities for clerk’s offices right now. E-filing saves resources and allows for much more efficient recordkeeping and filing. E-filing also helps attorneys and people representing themselves file important documents with the court with less hassle. The main impediment to implementing e-filing systems is the cost. E-filing is an infrastructural investment that will benefit the community for generations.

E-filing is one of those necessary investments for our Court to stay updated and not fall behind. I plan to use my connections with organizations across the region to finally get e-filing done at Kettering Municipal Court. I believe it is a necessary and urgent investment that will end up saving money and resources over time.

3. Implementing impactful help programs:

It is vitally important for the clerk’s office to engage with the public and provide resources and services that truly help members of the community and save taxpayer dollars by ending cycles that drain resources. Having the firsthand experience as an active litigation attorney, I am acutely aware of what programs help people, and what ends up being a waste of time and funds.

We need a real help center and programs that reach people where they are and actually help make a difference. I plan to partner with the local Public Defender’s Office and Law School to host recurring programs where the public can come in and get the knowledgeable help they need with issues like licenses, fees and fines, housing assistance, and record-sealing. I have seen these programs have tremendous success in helping people out of cycles that hurt their quality of life and drain community resources. We need something better than outdated, irrelevant brochures in the lobby and forms on a website. We need real programs with experienced help that truly fixes these problems, instead of superficial gestures done to try to score political points to get elected. The people of our community deserve better.

Biography:

1. Addressing the accessibility issues within the Court:

Accessibility is one of the highest priorities of a functional and competent clerk’s office, as accessibility is interwoven in most of the services a clerk’s office provides to the public. One of the largest problems I see in my law practice is a lack of simple, effective communication between the court and individuals doing business there.

The clerk’s office is responsible for sending individuals notices, and their receipt of those notices is crucial for whether they can properly participate in their case. Furthermore, the clerk is responsible for maintaining the court’s website, which serves as the most-used means by which people can access the court and aspects of their cases. In addition to those means, the clerk is also the entity all individuals doing business at the court interact with at some point while in person at the courthouse.

I plan to take necessary steps to have updated addresses, send notices electronically, and make sure folks are otherwise being properly notified about their cases. Additionally, the online docket search option or option for payment of fines must be user-friendly so that individuals can navigate these online options simply and easily. Finally, for individuals who might have language barriers or physical impairments, I plan to institute procedures by which we can accommodate those issues so that those individuals are not disadvantaged or left unable to properly engage with their cases.

2. Updating the Court’s systems technologically:

Electronic filing is one of the largest priorities for clerk’s offices right now. E-filing saves resources and allows for much more efficient recordkeeping and filing. E-filing also helps attorneys and people representing themselves file important documents with the court with less hassle. The main impediment to implementing e-filing systems is the cost. E-filing is an infrastructural investment that will benefit the community for generations.

E-filing is one of those necessary investments for our Court to stay updated and not fall behind. I plan to use my connections with organizations across the region to finally get e-filing done at Kettering Municipal Court. I believe it is a necessary and urgent investment that will end up saving money and resources over time.

3. Implementing impactful help programs:

It is vitally important for the clerk’s office to engage with the public and provide resources and services that truly help members of the community and save taxpayer dollars by ending cycles that drain resources. Having the firsthand experience as an active litigation attorney, I am acutely aware of what programs help people, and what ends up being a waste of time and funds.

We need a real help center and programs that reach people where they are and actually help make a difference. I plan to partner with the local Public Defender’s Office and Law School to host recurring programs where the public can come in and get the knowledgeable help they need with issues like licenses, fees and fines, housing assistance, and record-sealing. I have seen these programs have tremendous success in helping people out of cycles that hurt their quality of life and drain community resources. We need something better than outdated, irrelevant brochures in the lobby and forms on a website. We need real programs with experienced help that truly fixes these problems, instead of superficial gestures done to try to score political points to get elected. The people of our community deserve better.