(Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) July 14--Candidates: Wayne Mashburn, the incumbent Republican, and Charlotte Draper, the Democratic nominee.
What the County Clerk does: Most won't think about the County Clerk's office until it's time to renew their car tags. With nearly 650,000 registered vehicles in the county, renewals are a big part of the office's job. However, the office's other duties affect the lives of those living in the county in many other ways. All bars in the county must obtain a beer permit and business license from the clerk's office. Before notaries authenticate documents, the clerk authenticates the notaries. Even couples getting married must stop by the clerk's office to retrieve a marriage license.
Salary: $107,975 annually.
About the candidates: In 1978, Mashburn co-founded Commonwealth Associates, Inc., a computer software firm that created applications for the health care industry. When that merged with Film Transit Inc., Mashburn became the chief operation officer and later president of the company. He left in 1998 to take care of his mother who was ill. He entered the county clerk's office by becoming the manager of inventory in 2007. He was elected clerk in 2010.
Mashburn is currently the vice president of the State of Tennessee County Clerk's Association. Next year he will become president of this group.
Since 2001, Draper has worked in the clerk's office. At 16 years old, Draper worked as a grocery store cashier while attending then-Memphis State University. She gained employment at Delta Air Lines in 1972, where she held many different responsibilities. Draper left Delta in 1995 to take care of her ill mother. She worked as a private bartender with her bother for a while until she started at the clerk's office.
Draper gets her leader ship skills from her mother, Maxie Draper, she said.
"My mother was PTA president for every (county) school in the black community during the 50s thourgh 80s." Draper said. "She is where I get my leadership skills from."
Mashburn's top issues: Since taking office, Mashburn increased revenue by 9 percent, reduced staff by 5 percent and operated the office under budget, he said. Although he added online renewals and started the email renewal reminders, Mashburn said, he can still bring more technology into the clerk's office.
"Not just so it is more efficient, but to make it easier for the public to do business with us," Mashburn said.
Under Mashburn's administration, the office also took first place in Tennessee for donations collected to raise organ donor awareness.
"We are very excited about the money we've been able to raise," Mashburn said. "Our employees have worked hard to raise awareness. Coming ahead of other counties in the state doesn't do anything for us, but it is nice to know we have done so well."
Draper's top issues: Draper believes the current county clerk's administration does not understand the how the office works.
"You have seven administrators and only one of them knows what the clerks do," she said. "This hampers our operation."
Her years working in corporate jobs taught her that the best type of employee is one that can wear many hats, Draper said.
"In corporate America, cross-utilization is important," she said. "All employees should know how to fill in for another employee. This (the clerk's office) is a business. It should be run like a business. I've got that experience. My years of customer service give me an advantage over everyone in clerk's office."
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