Gayla Harris Miller Seeking Third Term Overseeing Bradley County Courts

Wednesday, November 06, 2013
Gayla Harris Miller
Gayla Harris Miller

Gayla Harris Miller has announced she will be a candidate for a third term for Bradley County Circuit and Criminal Court Clerk.  

Ms. Miller said, “It has been my honor and with great humility to serve the citizens of Bradley County for the past seven years.

Noting that she was elected in 2006 to her current position "with a very impressive vote margin," she said, "My platform for 2014 will again be my experience of 34 years as Deputy Clerk, Chief Deputy Clerk and now serving as your Circuit and Criminal Court Clerk.
 
"My duties as clerk are very complex and demanding, not only as Circuit and Criminal Court Clerk. I also oversee Sessions Civil/Criminal Court, Juvenile Civil/Criminal, Environmental Court, (2) Child Support Courts, and our newly established Order of Protection Court, which has been a great success.  It is very trying to develop a new court but with the dedicated elected officials, such as Judges, along with the Bar Association, 911 Center, Bradley Co. Sheriff’s Department and Magistrates and also without the knowledge and training of my skilled Deputy Clerks, this court would not function as efficiently as it does today.
 
"This is one out of my nine courts that I oversee on a daily basis with the same performance and results.  It is remarkable to me how Bradley County‘s growth has deemed it necessary to provide court proceedings at three locations. These are at the Bradley County Courthouse, Judicial Complex and the Juvenile Detention Center where courts are held daily."
 
In 2012-2013, there were 342 orders of protections, 450 custody related cases, 4,600 General Sessions civil court warrants and cases as well as 952 open Circuit Court cases.
 
In the same year, there were 611 open Circuit Criminal Court cases.
 
In General Sessions Criminal Court there were 6,773 warrants processed.  When traffic violations are entered through this court, the workload exceeded 11,000 items.
 

There were approximately 2,000 Juvenile civil cases as well as 4,000 cases in the Juvenile Criminal Court.

She said, "All the documentation is handled through each of my offices before a judge ever sees the case.

 "My work day is determined by which location a court is scheduled, meetings are being held, the impaneling of Jurors, various court dockets, Grand Jurors or just being accessible to the public.

"My Staff and I work extremely hard to provide numerous services to You the Citizens of Bradley County.  My staff consists of 27 full time and 1 Part time highly skilled deputy clerks.  It is a constant challenge to keep up with the changing Laws and Procedures daily, with court cost, fines and fees being mandated by the State of Tennessee.  My Staff also consists of 3 professional Bookkeepers maintaining 4 sets of accounting records who have been instrumental in producing 7 consecutive State Audits since I was elected in 2006 with no Findings or Recommendations.  During this time period we have contributed to the Bradley County General Fund in excess of 18.9 million dollars , as we are a fee office and do not retain any of the monies collected, they are transferred monthly.  This is an outstanding achievement that all Clerks strive for.

"I am also blessed with a dedicated and loyal Administrative Assistant - Dale Dixson who oversees day to day operations, such as budgeting, purchasing, personnel, etc.  Dale is instrumental in keeping me informed of current information and situations that arise depending on which location I am that day and makes me more readily available to the public.
 

“Our goal is helping people in life-altering situations, such as divorce, child custody, victims of crime, just to name a few.  We strive to be courteous and compassionate because of the sensitive nature of these problems.  To comfort people with a kind word and information which gives them hope and direction.  I have always tried to treat people with respect and how I would want to be treated if I were in their shoes.  At the end of each day, I always hope that my staff and I can help someone in need.  I enjoy my job very much and feel it is very rewarding.

"Since being elected Clerk, I am very proud of my accomplishments, starting with the Payment Program.  This program is set-up to collect a backlog of old fines and costs by letting the defendant make monthly payments.  It has been cost efficient and a great revenue success.

"Another accomplishment is working with Judge Daniel Swafford and Juvenile Director Terry Gallaher.  The Juvenile Detention Center is now being utilized as a 24-7 warrant writing location which is maned by the extensively trained Juvenile Detention Center which is centrally located for the convenience of the Bradley County Sheriffs Department and the Cleveland Police Department.  This has proven to be a fuel saving program.  I can not begin to express the gratitude and appreciation for the services that the Juvenile Detention Center Staff provides."
 
Ms. Miller serves on the Environmental Board, Court Security Board and the Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee for the 10th Judicial District.  She is also a member of the Tennessee Clerks Association, a member of the Bradley County Republican Party, MainStreet of Cleveland.  She has been appointed to the Advisory Council for the Criminal Justice Division and a member of Cambridge Who’s Who of Executives and Professionals.
 
Ms. Miller is married to David L. Miller and they have one son and daughter-in-law as well as two grandchildren.  The Miller’s attend Hopewell Baptist Church.
 
“In closing, I ask for your continued prayers and support to serve as your Circuit and Criminal Court Clerk with your vote in the upcoming Republican Primary for 2014.  I will continue to work hard with my dedicated Staff to provide you, the Voter, a clerk’s office that you can depend on for all your needs and services.” Ms. Miller stated.

Chattanooga Man With 18 Felonies Gets 15 Years In Federal Prison

A Chattanooga man who prosecutors say has 40 prior convictions, including 18 felonies, was sentenced on Thursday to 15 years in federal prison. Darien Houston, 44, appeared before Judge Curtis Collier. Prosecutor Chris Poole had asked for the high end of the range - 220 months, saying Houston is a member of the Vice Lords gang. Houston said he wanted to withdraw his earlier ... (click for more)

Police Blotter: Thieves Roll Out Of Lookout Valley Walmart With The Goods

Police said thieves in two recent cases carried stacks of goods out of the Lookout Valley Walmart without bothering to pay. In one case, two black females had $313.84 in groceries. They presented a SNAP card, but it was declined. The women, who had the items in two large black purses, then walked out and left in a red Dodge Ram pickup truck. * * * In another case at ... (click for more)

Use The Current Rail System Already In Place - And Response (2)

Why spend $20 million or more on an unproven system to run from the Southside of Chattanooga when we already have the beginnings of a system?  The question apparently has surfaced of why the Choo Choo City doesn't have a rail line. We do have a rail line with the Tennessee Valley RR Museum and their hardware. And they already make runs from the Southside to close to Enterprise ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: UAW Voices In Detroit

Today we are going to eavesdrop on somewhat of an open conversation that was held far to the north after the United Auto Workers surprisingly dropped a legal challenge with the National Labor Relations Board in Chattanooga the first thing on Monday morning. The NLRB judge certified the VW workers’ February vote to turn away the UAW at Chattanooga’s Volkswagen manufacturing plant ... (click for more)

East Hamilton Beats McMinn, 10-4, For 5-AAA Tourney's Top Seed

East Hamilton put the finishing touches on the seedings for next week’s District 5-AAA baseball tournament at Ooltewah High with a 10-4 victory over McMinn County on Wednesday at Chattanooga State. The win gives the Hurricanes (19-13, 9-3) the No. 1 seed for the tournament, meaning Bradley Central (17-11, 9-3) will be the second seed. With East Hamilton’s win, Walker Valley got ... (click for more)

Taylor Hall's Late Night Basketball Call

It was the midnight call that could change her life. It was the Seattle Storm of the WNBA calling to invite soon-to-graduate UTC senior basketball player Taylor Hall to the Emerald City for a tryout and a possible spot with the pro team. “I have never been one to show a lot of emotion, so I was pretty calm when the call did come in, “said Hall. “But my roommate ... (click for more)