Democrat candidate for clerk says that Lou will not get the pay cut she is taking. This was in the Daily Journal this morning. Funny, the DJ is refusing to print letters from Republicans. Do we sense a media bias?
As the Democratic candidate for county clerk, I believe technology and access are somewhat synonymous when addressing the changes that need to be made to the Clerk’s Office in Cumberland County.
I bring computer literacy and forward thinking to the table and hope that Cumberland County will soon embrace technological advances already being utilized in neighboring counties. Cumberland County has an opportunity to rival the progress already in place in Atlantic, Gloucester and Cape May counties by facilitating Internet access and online compatibility for all qualified commercial users — such as title companies, insurance agents and attorneys.
In addition to all commercial users, all citizens of Gloucester County have access to public records from their own homes or offices. The clerk is responsible for keeping the documents, not restricting access to them. The records in the Clerk’s Office are what is known as “public records,” which means that the public has a right to access them, regardless of whether it is by driving across the county to the physical location of the office or by saving time and money and simply using the technological tools available via the Internet.
Access to information and public records is only one of the areas that need improvement in the Clerk’s Office. As a non-partisan Constitutional officer and public servant, I believe the clerk should do everything in her or his power to facilitate voting rights for all citizens, regardless of socio-economic status.
There is an extreme transportation issue in this county that precludes a significant portion of the population from having access to the Clerk’s Office, not to mention that working people may not have the ability to take an hour out of their day to drive across the county during business hours.
A county store in a high-traffic area, such as the Cumberland Mall, would serve the public by providing access at a more convenient location and with more convenient hours. Those hours would be subject to the needs of the people — and since voting is one of the most important rights we have as citizens, it should be noted that additional attention will be paid to hours during election time.
If elected, I will recommend to the freeholder board that the salary cut I have requested be used to fund the company store location.
By my estimation, $25,000 will be more than sufficient to cover rent, utilities and possibly even some wages for a satellite Clerk’s Office in the mall. A location in this area is serviced by public transportation and is highly accessible by all citizens of the county.
Lauren Van Embden
Democratic candidate for Cumberland County clerk