News of Riverton, Lander and Fremont County, Wyoming, from the Ranger's award winning journalists.
Clerk of Court vacancy likely to be filled Tuesday
May 12, 2013 - By Christina George, Staff Writer
The two women seeking the Fremont County District Court Clerk position made their cases to Republican Party Central Committee members Thursday.
Now it's up to the Fremont County Commission to fill the vacancy.
Kristi H. Green and Jennifer Clymer, both of Lander, have experience with court systems, call themselves active Republicans, and have plans to move the office forward. Both also intend to seek the position in the 2014 election if appointed.
District Court Clerk Katie Brodie Meredith is resigning effective June 30 in the middle of her elected term. Meredith is a registered Republican, and state statute requires her replacement be a member of the party.
The Fremont County Commission is expected to make the appointment at its meeting Tuesday. State law requires the GOP to submit three names to the county board for the vacancy. John Agnst of Dubois at Thursday's meeting agreed to be the third placeholder to assure compliance with the law.
The applicant selected will serve the remainder of Brodie Meredith's term, which expires in 2014.
Thursday's 90-minute hearing, held at the Fremont County Circuit Court in Lander, allowed party members to get to know more about the candidates.
Clymer, current Riverton Circuit Court chief clerk, has experience at the Wyoming Attorney General's Office, law firms and the Wyoming Department of Education. Her experience, she said, has afforded her the opportunity to see the judicial system from both the litigation side and the bench.
She said goals she would pursue if appointed include a seamless transition at the District Court office for both citizens and staff.
She would also work to make it the best court by continuing to grow with demands.
Clymer expressed excitement that the office was on the cusp of implementing an electronic system for court files.
Green started working at the Fremont County Courthouse in 1983 in the Circuit Court. She has held the deputy clerk position at the District Court since 1995.
"I've learned how the job should be done from the bottom up," she told the packed courtroom.
Green pledged to continue serving Fremont County residents and described her dedication to the office.
"I love Fremont County. I love the people," she said. "I love what I do. ... I get to see justice performed every day."
Clymer said she has supported the party since childhood and has been a registered Republican since she was allowed to vote. Responding to a question, the candidate said she supports the party's bylaws and platforms.
"Being active (in the party) means several different things to several different people," Clymer said when asked if she is an active member of the party.
"Voting to me is being active."
She also said it includes having an interest in politics.
Green said she has been active in politics since Judge Robert Denhardt hired her 30 years ago. She has worked on campaigns and has been a precinct committee member.
"I have always supported Repub-lican campaigns," Green said, adding she fully supports the party's bylaws and platforms.
"I am a Republican to the core," Green later added.
Clymer said court clerks face challenges on a daily basis given the human element in the job.
"Every day you never know what is coming your way," she said. "At the same time, it's rewarding."
Her primary goal with any situation is to move forward and keep up with technology.
"Being progressive is very essential," Clymer said.
For Green, a challenge for the office "hands down" is pro see litigants, which is a person who files court proceedings without a lawyer.
Green said the office does its best to serve the customer while maintaining the line of not giving legal advice, which is against the law.
Clymer said obligations of an elected official is to "say what you're going to do" and do it. She is also a firm believer in customer service.
"Every person should be treated with respect and not judged," she said.
Green said elected officials have an obligation to citizens. Also, they must maintain local control and do what is best for the residents of Fremont County.
"It's important to remember that this is for the people," she added.
Green said the office just submitted a $400,000 budget for the upcoming fiscal year. Most of the funds go toward salaries and office supplies, she explained.
Both women said they are conservative spenders.
"I feel like the budget is the people's budget," Clymer said.