In Virginia, the Circuit Court Clerk wears three hats: (1) recorder of land records; (2) circuit court administrator and (3) probate judge. In some states these are three separate offices. In Virginia, one person is ultimately responsible for all these functions.
In a small office such as ours, the Clerk is known as a “working” clerk meaning the Clerk is not a CEO, but is down in the trenches, working side-by-side every day, all day, with the deputies. The Clerk is not a figurehead position and is not one that lends itself to quick “on-the-job” training.
Due to the seriousness of the office, this is not a place where one can easily waltz in with a big smile, say “Welcome ya’ll,” and expect customers to walk away happy.
Patrons of the Clerk’s office are there because their business is serious business that needs prompt, experienced attention so when leaving they can rest assured and relieved in the knowledge that their business has been carefully and properly taken care of. A friendly smile never hurts, but it surely is icing on the cake after a job professionally completed.
Until you have worked in a Circuit Court Clerk’s Office, you cannot possibly imagine the variety and volume of work, the level of detail, the impact and importance of keeping up with and applying the ever-changing laws and the seriousness of timeliness.
Margaret “Peggy” Ralph is the only candidate with the skills acquired through experience and education and thorough knowledge of the law to serve as our Circuit Court Clerk. These are the reasons why I shall vote for Margaret “Peggy” Ralph for Circuit Court Clerk on Nov. 2 and I encourage everyone to go to the polls and vote for her also.
Editor’s Note: The writer served as Rappahannock Circuit Court Clerk for 32 years until March 1, 2010.