SEABROOK – During the upcoming June primary election, voters will have the opportunity to choose the next clerk of the circuit court for Prince George’s County. The clerk of the circuit court is a state official whose responsibilities include record-keeping, maintaining relevant books and papers, providing copies of legal documents and issuing writs.
This year, the candidates running for this position are Mahasin Amin, Adrion Howell, Adrian Mason, Gloria McClam-Magruder, Bonita Rabalais and Denise Roberts. All of the candidates are Democrats.
Amin highlighted her professional expertise and relationships along with her work ethic among her qualifications to be the county’s clerk of the circuit court. Amin’s professional career as a practicing domestic attorney means she knows firsthand the importance of efficient and responsible clerk’s offices. Her career has also enabled her to establish positive relationships with members of the clerk’s office, members of the bench, courthouse staff and attorneys.
“I really do love this courthouse,” she said.
Amin previously served as president of the J. Franklyn Bourne Bar Association.
If elected, Amin would concentrate on three key priorities: efficiency, reliability and customer service.
Amin said her talent for working with and managing many types of people will help her to lead the office internally with clear communication. She would focus externally on providing “excellent customer service” for each individual who interacts with the court’s office, “regardless of what their issue is.”
Howell believes his experience working at different levels and branches of the government have prepared him well to become the next Prince George’s County Clerk of the Circuit Court.
Howell’s main goals for the office are to expand the office’s profile, improve community outreach and to provide residents with “world-class customer service.”
Howell envisions developing internships, apprenticeships and clerkships for young people in the county with the clerk’s office.
Howell is also interested in expanding the bilingual services the office provides as well as the office’s outreach senior citizens.
Howell intends to provide professional development training for the staff to improve morale, efficiency and customer service.
“I don’t want to hear constituents say they didn’t get the attention they needed as they were seeking information or procedural advice,” Howell said. “I want to hear we are a resource to our community.”
During his time as a Juvenile Clerk with the Prince George’s County Circuit Court, Mason sensed the public was not receiving the best quality service from the circuit court. He decided to run for the clerk’s office to improve this situation.
“I want to bring a sense of civility back,” Mason said. “Integrity needs to be brought back. Employees need to feel that they are respected.”
Establishing these qualities in the office begin “in leadership,” he said.
“Employees with the circuit court need to be on the same page,” Mason said.
He would meet regularly with employees to understand their concerns and how he could help to resolve or better these circumstances.
Mason is interested in developing a mentoring program for juvenile delinquents through the circuit court.
Rabalais, the current chief deputy clerk of the clerk of the circuit court, underscored her commitment to customer service and community outreach. If elected, she would promote the ARC (Awareness, Respect and Compassion) experience in the office.
“By the time you end up in the clerk’s office, you’re in a vulnerable place,” Rabalais said. “We have to meet the citizens where they are. Sometimes they’re in very sensitive places, and you have to be sensitive to their needs.”
She would focus on community engagement by going out to the public to educate citizens about the role of the clerk’s office so they know what to expect and are comfortable when they encounter the office and to help make the office more “user-friendly.”
Rabalais’s other objectives include keeping morale high and updating the office’s technology.
She has more than 25 years of judiciary and legal administrative experience.
Roberts decided to run for clerk of the circuit court with a strong emphasis on customer service, having been on the receiving end of poor service with the courts.
The judge in a case she was involved in received the relevant case files late, which resulted in Roberts’ taking additional time away from her job and paying further charges for her attorney.
“These are mistakes that don’t need to be made, and I want to go in and fix them. I’m good at motivating people, because I care about people,” Roberts said. “I come as a candidate with the perspective of being a customer, and I know what it takes to motivate employees.”
Roberts would have three main priorities as clerk: train employees, improve customer service and enhance technology to be more user-friendly.
Roberts has worked as a public information officer with the county executive’s office and currently is the outreach program manager with the county’s Office of Central Services.
McClam-Magruder did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
This article is part of a series.