Keep Gwen Tidwell As Criminal Court Clerk - And Response (2)

Thursday, July 10, 2014

For 20 years Hamilton County has been fortunate to have Gwen Tidwell serving as Criminal Court clerk.  In that time Ms. Tidwell modernized the office and made records more accessible to the public than ever before.  When she took office in 1994 county taxpayers spent $689,000 per year on payroll for the office.  Since the year 2000 her office has been self-sufficient, requiring no money from the county. She has obtained grant money for domestic violence victims, and has many other notable accomplishments.  

Ms. Tidwell’s qualifications are unparalleled, and she has proven that her experience as City Court clerk and as a licensed attorney allows her to continually improve her office.  In addition to being the most qualified candidate, she has attracted quality employees who make sure that important legal documents and records are handled carefully and are accessible to all citizens. 

I have known Gwen Tidwell and her family for more than 12 years, and can attest to her character and work ethic.  Ms. Tidwell loves her job, and she excels at it.  It does matter who governs. 

Regardless of your party affiliation, vote for Gwen Tidwell on Aug. 7 to let her continue working for us and continue saving taxpayers’ money. 

Adam Izell 

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The race between Hamilton County Criminal Court Clerk Gwen Tidwell and her opponent is one of action vs. words.  Gwen Tidwell offers her record of innovation and hard work, making the Criminal Court records easily accessible to all and operating for 15 years without spending a single dime of taxpayer money for salaries.  All Vince Dean offers is words.  

This fact was brought home recently with Ms. Tidwell's timely filing of her financial disclosure report. Vince Dean? He failed to comply with the requirements to make his financial records public. While he may try to make excuses for this unacceptable omission, once again, we see Ms. Tidwell acting honestly and openly and her opponent offering only words.   

I ask you to join me in voting for Gwen Tidwell for Criminal Court clerk. 

Annie Hall
Signal Mountain 

* * * 

Gwen Tidwell's 20 years of service to Hamilton County citizens, including those who have been victims of crimes, should not be in any way lightly discarded for purely political reasons. Electing an unqualified person to this office would likely have grave consequences for the criminal justice system. 

Why? Every criminal case filed in Hamilton County -- about 50,000 new cases a year -- generates records that must be maintained according to state laws that govern every aspect of the office's operations. The reason for that is obvious: If records are improperly maintained, especially when convictions are appealed, justice can suffer. The victims can be the defendants, whose lives are often on the line, and Hamilton County citizens. 

Since she was elected in 1994, the day-to-day efficiency and effectiveness of the clerk's office has reflected Ms. Tidwell's leadership and professionalism, along with the work of her fine staff. A lawyer by training, she has ensured that the clerk's office complies with legal requirements governing the office's records, and employees. 

When we as voters consider law and order issues in local elections, we naturally focus on the actions of law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and judges. Less well-known are the crucial services provided by the criminal court clerk's office, currently led by Gwen Tidwell. Keep that in mind on election day. 

Chris Rice
Harrison


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