Dulaney And Wade Vie For Circuit Clerk’s Job
(Editor’s Note: The Wetzel Chronicle mailed questions to all political candidates in races of local significance. Their responses will be printed in the April 28 and May 5 editions of the Wetzel Chronicle in a simple question and answer format.)
Incumbent Sharon Maxine Yoho Dulaney is being challenged by Carla Neely Wade, both Democrats, for the position of Wetzel County Circuit Clerk.
Sharon Yoho Dulaney is the daughter of the late Henry Harold and Norma Jean Yoho and has been happily married to Ronnie Joe Dulaney Sr. for 43 years. They have one son, Ronnie Jr. and his wife Pennie of Wheeling, W.Va.
Dulaney is the proud grandmother of two grandsons: Derek Austin, a freshman at Wheeling Park High School, and Nicholas Glenn, a fifth-grade student at Madison Elementary. Family and the principles of a happy home are very important to Dulaney. She takes her role as a Christian, wife, mother, grandmother, and public servant seriously.
She is a 1966 graduate of Hundred High School, a member of the Wileyville Church of Christ, Wileyville Volunteer Fire Department, Federation of Democrat Women of Wetzel County, an honorary member of the Hundred FFA, Courthouse Crusaders for Hope Relay for Life team, and International Quota Club of New Martinsville. Dulaney has been a life-long Democrat and has never missed voting in any election.
Dulaney has 18 years of experience in the Circuit Clerk’s Office, 11 of those years as Wetzel County’s Circuit Clerk.
Wade and her husband Brett live on Limestone Ridge, outside of New Martinsville, with their four children, Jesse, Hannah, Mackenzie, and Brock.She is employed by Child Care Resources sponsored by Catholic Charities of WV. A member of the Steelton Church of Christ, she volunteers monthly as the recording secretary for Open Door Ministries, Inc.Wade has a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from West Liberty University, a WV Social Work License, and currently pursuing a master’s degree in Psychology. Her current endorsements include the Wetzel County Education Association, United Steelworkers Local 5724, and the Upper Ohio Valley Building and Trades Council.
What makes you the best person for this job?
Dulaney: I have 18 years of knowledge and experience in Circuit Clerk’s Office and 10 years of extended education given by the Supreme Court each year to keep the Circuit Clerks aware of changes being made by the legislature that affects the duties of the Circuit Clerk’s Office. Our duties are mandated by the laws of the State of West Virginia.
I have been Wetzel County’s Circuit Clerk since January 1, 1999, and have served the citizens with friendliness, honesty, integrity, and professionalism.
Wade: I believe my education, work history, and personal experiences have well prepared me for this opportunity to serve the citizens of my home community.I have spent the last 10 years working as a Social Worker. A Social Worker works daily to improve the lives of others.Social workers help people cope with the stress and difficulties they face in their everyday lives, work with individuals, families, and communities in meeting their basic needs and are aware of community resources available to assist them.
Social Work is also a profession and academic discipline committed to the pursuit of social justice, to quality of life, and to the development of the full potential of each individual, group, and community in a society. Social workers advocate for change. Aren’t these the qualities we look for in an elected official? We need our elected officials to be concerned about the welfare of the people. That is what social workers do every day.
Do you have any goals for the circuit clerk’s office to achieve in the next four years?
Dulaney: The Circuit Clerk’s position is a six-year term. I am currently in the process of upgrading the computer system to make the Circuit Clerk’s office as efficient as possible. We are mandated by the laws of the State of West Virginia as to what we do within the Circuit Clerk’s Office. Therefore my goal is to continue having a friendly, honest, courteous, and professional office and to continue serving the citizens with the upmost respect in whatever situation finds them in the Circuit Clerk’s Office. I will do this without giving any advice or legal and emotional counseling. The laws of the State of West Virginia forbid the Circuit Clerk from giving any advice whatsoever.
Wade: My goal for the Circuit Clerk’s Office is to train my staff not only in the skills required for the physical aspects of the job, but the mental and emotional skills needed to work with people on a daily basis. My history as an educator will assist me in teaching my staff and making sure they attend and receive the required training needed to assist the judges, attorneys, and our citizens involved in the court system. My current work in the field of psychology has helped me understand the behavior of people. . . what motivates them, drives them, and causes them to say and do the things they do.When you come in the circuit clerk’s office to file a modification of child support, on the day you lost your job, and you are worried about how you will be able to financially take care of your children, you may not be in the friendliest mood. You may be frustrated, angry, upset, and worried. A circuit clerk who has been trained as a social worker will understand where this behavior comes from, will not make any judgments, and give you a smile that says, “I understand, I have been on the other side of the counter, I have been in your shoes, and I understand your fears.”
Other goals I have include a way to make the circuit clerk’s office more “user friendly” for our citizen that live outside the New Martinsville city limits. As an advocate I ran into many situations where the person I was assisting only had enough gas money for one trip to town, no place to fill out the required paperwork, and trouble with reading and understanding the forms. Perhaps one Saturday a month, could be set aside, to assist these citizens in a more effective way.A third goal is to look into providing, once again, the service of applying for a passport. This service was once offered in our circuit clerk’s office and I am sure it brought money in to the county.
Do you have the organizational and interpersonal skills to effectively perform the duties of Circuit Clerk? Elaborate.
Dulaney: Yes, I have the ability to organize and control what goes on in the Circuit Clerk’s Office. I believe that I have the interpersonal skills to interact with my office staff to insure that the work in the Circuit Clerk’s Office is done in a timely manner with the upmost professionalism and that all citizens who come to the Circuit Clerk’s Office for whatever reason are made to feel as comfortable as possible.
I believe I have the ability to deal with difficult situations and can respond appropriately without being overwhelmed with emotion. Even though I have sympathy and empathy for them, I cannot, as the Circuit Clerk, offer any type of advice, emotional therapy, or legal counsel.
Wade: I have the organizational and interpersonal skills required to perform the duties of the circuit clerk. A circuit clerk’s job includes maintaining the records of the court system, administering oaths to witnesses, jurors, and grand jurors, and is the custodian of the court’s seal which is used to authenticate copies of court orders, judgments, and other records.
I have worked with confidential records for over 20 years as a teacher, social worker, and domestic violence advocate.I have effectively communicated with the homeless, the fortunate, the poor, the rich, the victims, the attorneys, and the judges.
I not only have the skills required to maintain the records but also the ability to treat people’s private lives and matters with dignity and respect. That is why I am asking for your vote for Wetzel County Circuit Clerk on May 11th. Thank you for your support.