Please provide some background including where you live, work history that may relate to your political endeavor, education, military, family, etc.
I was raised in Camden County and currently reside with my husband, Phillip, on the family farm north of Macks Creek. We have three children and five grandchildren. I graduated from Macks Creek High School and attended Drury University in Springfield, MO. Camden County is my home and where I want to contribute my expertise through public service.
I have worked for the Court Systems for 20 years. I started out in the Camden County Circuit Clerk’s Office and then moved on up to the Federal Court in Springfield. This is something that I am passionate and care about. During my time with the courts, I was entrusted with a high level of professional responsibilities, and I understand the procedures and aspects of the legal system. I have had numerous continuing education classes and training through the courts system. I am the only candidate that is a Federally Certified Courtroom Deputy Clerk.
Some of my past and present local area involvements and memberships include NRA, Camdenton Rotary Club, Lake Area Industries Board, Leadership Camden County, University of Missouri Extension Board, Camden County Republican Club, American Cancer Society, Special Olympics Volunteer, Camden County Historical Society, Dogwood Trails Camden County Chairman and Leader, Macks Creek PTO Vice President and Treasurer, Macks Creek Alumni Association Secretary/Treasurer.
Why are you running for office?
Timing is important. With the current Circuit Clerk retiring I felt it was an opportunity to give something back thru public service. I really enjoy working for the court systems. This is something that I am passionate about and I have been interested in for a long time. With my experience and leadership skills, I know that I can do this job and do it well. I believe that I am the right candidate at the right time.
What challenges do you see for the Circuit Clerk's Office?
It will be a challenge to keep up with this rapidly growing county.
There needs to be more cross training. There are many different divisions in the Circuit Clerk’s Office and it takes time to learn each one sufficiently.
I want the staff to know the answers when someone comes in or calls with a complicated situation. I don’t want that person to hear, “That’s not my job. That person is at lunch or off today. Can you call back in an hour or tomorrow?” I want to them to get the help they need right then and there.
When someone in that office now retires, they hire that person back as a part time employee to train their replacement. I want enough cross training that a current employee in that office can train the new employee and save taxpayers money.
If elected, do you anticipate any changes to the office?
I want to raise the bar of professionalism and efficiency in that office by promoting educational and training resources for staff and encouraging teamwork and team building within the work environment.
The current Circuit Clerk is retiring at the end of this year and another employee just retired, and from what I’ve understood, there will be one more retiring in just a few months. With these three employees leaving, they are taking almost a hundred years of experience with them. This office is mandated by the Office of State Courts Administrator and experience is extremely important. You need a Circuit Clerk with experience and leadership skills that can oversee the operations of this office.
Please add any other comments you'd like
Experience in this job is tremendous. It carries a lot of responsibility to oversee the employees and keep the wheels of justice running smoothly.
The Circuit Clerk is a partisan position as is any other elected official’s position in this county. It is important who we vote into that office. Camden County is a truly conservative county and I believe the citizens want to elect someone in that position who aligns with their beliefs and morals, and I know I can do that. They don’t want someone who crosses party lines just to advance their career.
It’s time for new leadership! This office has been run by the same eyes and ears for the last two decades. I think that’s enough time to become complacent and stagnant in leadership and I do believe there are some ways that this office could make some changes to save some taxpayer money and improve efficiency.
My previous experience in the Circuit Clerks Office gives me an incredible amount of knowledge of the duties of this office. I have proven that I can make strong management decisions and communicate effectively. I can cultivate an office environment of kindness, professionalism and efficiency.
My name is Karen Clopton and I am the person that you can trust to be your next Circuit Clerk and I am asking for your vote on August 2nd.