Scarbrough, Calhoun vying for circuit clerk title

Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Election Day is next Tuesday and there is only one local countywide race in Pike County.

Democrat Daryl Calhoun and Republican Jamie Neeley Scarbrough (incumbent) are both vying for the circuit clerk title.

“I would like to be a public servant,” Calhoun said. “People in Pike County believe politicians are not honest, they just want your vote. I just want to give back.”

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Calhoun is a 1985 graduate of Pike County High School who has worked at the Troy Police Department and the Pike County Sheriff’s Department. He’s also spent time employed by the Alabama Department of Transportation.

A 1994 graduate of Pike County High School, Scarbrough has been working in the Circuit Clerk’s Office since she was 19 and has served for two years as the Pike County Circuit Clerk.

“I started at the bottom,” Scarbrough said. “I want to continue to be circuit clerk because I care about the people of this county. I have the utmost respect for the judicial system and I understand the need for experience in this office.”

As a newcomer to the office, Calhoun said if he was elected he’d like to create a customer friendly environment.

“I have had business in that office before and I think it should be a customer driven office. The times I’ve been in there, it wasn’t customer driven and that’s why I decided to run,” Calhoun said.

Calhoun also said he’d like to work toward securing better technology for the purpose of checking the status of bail bondsman licenses and he’d work to end the circuit clerk’s participation in what he calls the “supernumerary retirement plan.”

Scarbrough is quick to clarify when anyone asks her about that “retirement plan.”

“Supernumarary isn’t a retirement plan, it’s a status. When a clerk, judge or district attorney retires, they can be called back at any time to fulfill the duties of that position,” Scarbrough said. “That isn’t a choice clerks make. I wasn’t given an option.”

Although Scarbrough said funds are tight when it comes to technology and staffing is down to 43 percent due to cutbacks, she and her staff have been working diligently to move the county toward a paperless system, beginning with a push for e-filing.

“There is a lot in store for the future of the court system,” Scarbrough said. “But in order to make changes in an office, you have to know how it works. In order to make changes to a system, you have to know how that system works.”

Scarbrough said that her knowledge of the court system and the clerk’s office is what sets her apart from her opposition.

Calhoun said change is what the clerk’s office needs and maintains he’s the best candidate for the job and he also wants voters to know he possesses many of the same values they do, despite a popular new slogan by the Pike County Republican Party.

“I don’t think the Republicans have a patent on Pike County values,” Calhoun said. “That’s a slap in most folks’ faces. I believe in the same family values. I am a good family man. I am a good Christian.”

Both Scarbrough and Calhoun will be at the candidate forum hosted by the Pike County Chamber of Commerce tomorrow night at 5:30 at the Troy Parks and Recreation Department on Enzor Road.