PUBLISHER’S NOTE: Page Valley News will be publishing profiles of 10 local candidates in four contested county races in this fall’s elections beginning Aug. 14. These Q&As will be published around midday on Mondays and Thursdays and can be found on the “County” page.
Also in September, PVN will be broadcasting pre-recorded debates between the candidates in these four contested races through our new YouTube channel starting Sept. 20. Click on the YouTube icon in the upper right on our Home page to subscribe to our channel ahead of time.
- Age: 69
- Education: Various courses, Blue Ridge Community College; Luray High School graduate, 1972.
- Work: I was elected in 2015 and I currently serve as your Page County Clerk of Court. Prior to serving as your constitutional officer, I was a business owner of Markowitz Appliance Center for over 40 years.
- About me: I was born in Page County and have resided here my entire life. My wife Lisa and I have been married for 41 years. We have two adult children, Jessica and Andrew and Andrew is married to our daughter-in-law Esther. I have been active in local politics and community service my entire adult life. At 27 years of age, I had a goal to be the Clerk of Court and that dream came to fruition when I was elected your Page County Clerk of Court in 2015. My experience as a business owner for over 40 years equipped me with the leadership skills needed to be a successful Clerk. I have been deeply committed to serving the people of Page County and making a positive impact on our community. Alongside of my role as Clerk, I also am an active member of the following organizations: Rileyville Baptist Church, Virginia Circuit Court Clerk’s Association Member, VFW Auxiliary Member, Master Mason, Luray Lions Club President, Boy Scout Committee Chairman, Luray Fire Department Associate Member, Page Valley Fair Association Associate Member, Page County Farmers Association Member, Page One Volunteer, Page County Heritage Association Volunteer, WRE Volunteer, Past United Way Member.
• Why are you running for public office?
Serving our community as your Clerk of Court for the past eight years has been one of my greatest joys. I have worked diligently to improve every facet of the Clerk’s office and the Court it serves. I will continue to serve my constituents with a list of over 800 duties of the office as set out in the Code of Virginia. I am a principled conservative who is fiscally responsible. As your Clerk of Court, I secured over $200,000 in grants to digitize all land records, and plats; a $7,000 grant to install cameras in both the court room and records room which increased safety and implemented an additional form of accountability; a $8,000 grant for video conferencing for pre-trial hearings connecting to all Virginia jails and prisons, which saves taxpayers thousands of dollars in transportation cost of inmates to and from court proceedings; and a $70,000 grant from the Library of Virginia for deed book restoration. Additionally, the Clerk’s office now issues concealed handgun permits as plastic cards, which provides durability and security in identification.
• What makes you the best candidate?
Elected in 2015 as Clerk of Court by the citizens of Page County, I bring eight years of leadership, experience, and expertise to the Clerk’s office. I am the best candidate for the position because I have executed the vision that I promised you during my first campaign eight years ago. I have a proven track record of effective leadership and management, notable achievements, and have ensured initiatives that have streamlined court processes, improved accessibility, and promoted community engagement with the Clerk’s office. I lead by example and am visionary, innovative, efficient, trustworthy, honest and reliable. I am dedicated to continue using these skills to serve our community as a trustworthy steward of our court records and proceedings. I believe by continuing to modernize our operations and embracing innovative solutions, we will always provide efficiency and accessibility to our judicial system.
• What is the most pressing issue facing the Clerk of the Circuit Court’s office?
The number of jury trials have increased dramatically across the Commonwealth due to new legislation adopted by the General Assembly. In Page County the circuit court went from having one to two jury trials a year to two to three jury trials a week. Our excellent staff are crossed-trained in all aspects of the office to accommodate this increased workload. To cover the longer hours for trials, staff are now working alternate work schedules. I have also reached out to the compensation board for additional staffing.
• What is one thing that you would like to change or improve?
I will continue the success our office has had in the modernization of the judicial administration and court services through technology. An automated jury management system is forthcoming. I will continue to work to bring the most up-to-date technology to the office and am constantly looking for ways to improve efficiency. Our office will continue putting people first and providing the best customer service.
• Briefly describe a decision you have made in a leadership role and tell why you made that decision.
Nine years ago, I decided to change careers and seek the position of Clerk of Court after over 40 years in private business. My communication, problem solving, initiative, ethics, leadership, expertise and time management skills along with business management and performance was a perfect fit for the role of Clerk of Court. I trained at least one day a week for a year in the Rockingham County Clerk of Court’s office to be prepared for the position of Page County Clerk of Court prior to my successful election in 2015. My business skills paved the way for a smooth transition to the position of Clerk of Court and was one of the best decisions I ever made. I look forward to earning your vote to continue to serve the community in this role. With passion, dedication, and enthusiasm in another term as Page County’s Clerk of Court, I will always serve my community by putting people first.
Early voting starts Sept. 22
For election information visit the Page County Voter Registrar.