Jo McElwee

McElwee has been married to her husband Rick, for 34 years and they have one son, Brandon. McElwee joined the Circuit Clerk’s Office in early 1981 as a Deputy Clerk. She was elected to the circuit clerk's position in and has served for 16 years. McElwee has overseen advances in technolocy and procedures during her tenure.

McElwee introduced a system of cross-training for the office staff of 19.

McElwee is involved in several Camden County organizations/charities.

Q What makes you the most qualified candidate for the office?

A I started in this office as a basic clerk, and worked my way up one step at a time, learning each and every part of each job.  Over the past 37 years, I have learned what works, what doesn't and where we need to head in the future.  The Circuit Clerk is not an entry level job, and I believe my knowledge, experience and integrity makes me the best candidate for the job.  

Q Do you have any business interests or taken any contributions that could cause a conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict of interest?

A No

Q If re-elected or elected, what will be the first thing you will change as far as the operation and management of the circuit clerk's office?

A I feel like we have a very successful, well run office, but there is always room for improvement. I will continue to keep my staff up on continuing education and training and I will continue my long-standing program of cross training in every position.  I will continue to give 100% towards moving the Camden County Circuit Clerk's Office into the future. 

Q What is the one thing you want voters to know about you before they go to the polls?

A I want the voters to know that I have the experience and the integrity to be the best Circuit Clerk for Camden County.  My complete knowledge of the office and experience as Circuit Clerk since 2003, makes me uniquely qualified to continue serving the people of Camden County.

Q What is your position on term limits for county offices. Do you believe term limits are a hindrance or a benefit? 

A I believe that term limits for county offices is definitely a hindrance, especially in an office like the Circuit Clerk.  This is a very important part of the judiciary and there is so very much to learn.  It is not a 'learn as you go' type of job.  This office affects people's lives in many different areas and one mistake by someone who doesn't know what they are doing could be a disaster.  My passion for my office and the people of Camden County has grown very very much through the years of working with them, and I think longevity is a huge part of that.

Melissa Mackay

Mackay has been a lake area resident for 42 years. In 2001, she obtained a Real Estate Brokers License, which she still maintains, Mackay served on the Professional Standards Committee and the Ethics Committee for the Missouri Association of Realtors for many years. In 2007, she began college courses to become a Certified Paralegal. Mackay has been a paralegal at the Law Firm of Christopher Rohrer for approximately 10 years handling legal actions involving Guardianship, Divorce, Custody, Juvenile, and Civil cases.

Q What makes you the most qualified candidate for the office?

A I have been a part of the legal community in our Circuit for over a decade, having worked with attorneys as a certified paralegal. In this role, I have worked with dozens of Circuit Clerk offices across the State of Missouri. I have come to recognize those qualities that are common to successful Circuit Clerk offices and want to bring those attributes to the Camden County Circuit Clerk’s office. Since becoming a certified paralegal, I have continued my studies in criminal justice and business administration with an accounting emphasis. I believe this education gives me the skills to affectively evaluate the budget and manage daily operations of the Circuit Clerk’s office. In addition, I have been a successful small business owner in the Lake area for several years, owning and operating Paradise Landscaping with my husband, Bill.

Q Do you have any business interests or taken any contributions that could cause a conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict of interest?

A Throughout my entire campaign I have been diligently cognizant of the Missouri Ethics Guide to Conflicts of Interest and the provisions of RSMo. §105.450 - §105.467 that apply to elected officials on contributions. I have developed relationships with several attorneys and people in the legal community in my work as a certified paralegal. Many of these individuals encouraged me to seek this office and are financially supporting my campaign. However, if elected, I will serve all having business with the Circuit Clerk’s Office fairly, honestly and with integrity and equal dignity.

Q If re-elected or elected, what will be the first thing you will change as far as the operation and management of the circuit clerk’s office?

A During my first thirty (30) days in office, I will conduct an extensive review of the budget and all office policies and procedures, confer with staff and implement those changes necessary to eliminate waste and bring efficiency to the day-to-day operations of the office. I will immediately implement cross-training of staff to address what I see as the biggest inadequacy of the service presently provided. I will be sure that all persons having business with the office receive prompt and courteous customer service. Internal procedures need to be adopted to assure that all filings are timely and correctly processed. Timely reporting to the Department of Revenue of matters effecting driving privileges must occur. As a priority, improvements need to be made to the present jury notification system.

Q What is the one thing you want voters to know about you before they go to the polls?

A My work ethic. My mother Nelda, who worked at Arrowhead Lodge for 30 plus years, single handedly raised 3 children as a waitress with no help, no welfare, and no child support. Those who knew her, knows that she worked very hard and I believe that she instilled this in me. I began working at the Brass Door at the age of 12 as a busser. At 16, I began waiting tables at Imo’s Pizza for Eddie Jordan until I graduated and left for college in 1994. When it comes to our landscape company, I have pulled many weeds and cleaned many pools. Hard work does not scare me. I will bring this same work ethic and energy to the Camden County Circuit Clerk’s Office and provide leadership by this example.

Q What is your position on term limits for county offices? Do you believe term limits are a hinderance or a benefit?

A I absolutely agree with having term limits for all elected officials. I believe the Circuit Clerk should be appointed and should be non-partisan and unbiased. I think the appointment of the clerk should be made by a plan, similar to the Missouri Non-Partisan Court Plan, which appoints fair and impartial judges who are not influenced by money or politics. This is how it works, lawyers who wish to be appointed to the Missouri Supreme Court or Court of Appeals, or some metropolitan area judgeships, must submit their qualifications to a Non-Partisan Committee made up of lawyers and non-lawyers to be considered. According to the article “Talking Points on the Missouri Non-Partisan Court Plan”, published by the Missouri Bar, The Plan provides for stability, continuity and promotes public confidence in the judicial system(Missouri).