Clerk Of Courts Race and more

Posted on | June 9th, 2016 |  by Carl Cricket in Local Politics

This is just a quickie blog to bring some who are interested, up to snuff. Monday's agenda includes items on the Charter Review Board. No, even though they served little purpose, as a whole, they are not being eliminated. Instead, there's a 'deal' (rumor) circulating that three commissioners have already decided to attempt to silence the citizen's voices by having the Charter Review Board meet every TEN, (10) years!

Those commissioners wanting to silence the people are, Cheryl Grieb, Brandon 'Arrogant' Arrington, and the Commission Chair, Viviana Janer. Now, the ONLY question is, when did they decide this? Why are they trying to silence the PEOPLE and why now? Have they disregarded the Sunshine Law? Those questions should be willingly answered by all three, however, the county needs, begs for a Federal Investigation into the practices of the entire Commission. The more they get away with, the more they will take from YOU! Time to FLUSH out the Commission!

Today we'll pass along some information regarding the Clerk of Courts race.

The first will be Malcom Thompson's Candidate's Statement:

Malcom served as Clerk of Court from 2008 - 2012, completed the FACC Classes to become Certified as a Clerk of Court by the Florida Supreme Court. He served on the FACC Education & Technologies Committee. During his tenure as Clerk, The State went thru a recession which caused never before heard of cuts in budgets & State mandated layoffs. Malcom has the education, experience and leadership ability to bring the courthouse back from its current position to a shining example for the State. Having been in the position, Malcom comes with a unique ability to begin the work that needs to be done on day 1. Any other candidate must go through FACC courses (1-2 years) in order to become qualified to run the Courthouse. Knowing the ins and outs of the courthouse and its many duties will be of great importance when a new clerk takes over. Sadly, in it's current state, we need a candidate who does not have to go through a learning curve, we need Malcom Thompson.
Serving on the Education and Technology committees was important to me as these were 2 specific areas that needed concentration at our Courthouse. Upon re-election, I would like to continue what I started by increasing technological advances to allow Superior Service to our Citizens. During my last term, we installed a queuing system to facilitate faster service to our citizens, we created a waiting lounge for those who had to wait. We instituted e-filing, e-recording and e-citations to save our citizens time in line by going on-line. We also instituted an e-portal system to improve our local and state level communication.

I will also continue my focus on education as I believe that the education of our employees is paramount to our success. During my previous tenure, we began cross-training, held town-hall meetings to ensure that everyone had a voice and also held weekly staff meetings with all levels of the courthouse. We also instituted training days which included Customer Service and Motivational trainings.
Return to Fairness and Accountability will be first and foremost. During my term in office, I maintained a firm open door policy to all Employees and Citizens. My door was always open to discuss issues and to help better our service both internally and externally. Fairness across the board was a motto that I believed in and maintain today. Fair treatment of all employees at all levels were paramount to our success and will return on day 1 of my new administration.

"We made great strides at the courthouse and I just want to finish what we started, to see our Osceola County Courthouse be a shining example to the State of Florida."
Malcom and his wife Elizabeth have been in Osceola County for over 32 years and currently make their home in Saint Cloud. Malcom has been involved with numerous civic organizations over the years and truly cares for the citizens of Osceola County. Malcom has always said, "I am not a politician, just a citizen who believes in fair and equal treatment for all."

Prior to his tenure as Clerk of Court, Malcom served on the Kissimmee Police Department from 1984-1997 when he was involved in a line of duty shooting. Due to the lose of an eye in the shooting, he was unable to return to law enforcement and retired from KPD in 1999. During his recovery, Malcom remained focused on giving back to the community that he served. In 1998 Malcom was named "Top Cop" of the nation by NAPO and was honored at a Rose Garden ceremony in Washington DC.!

Prior to moving to Kissimmee, Malcom served on the Ft. Myers and Cape Coral Police Departments after returning from Vietnam as a decorated Marine Sgt.
"My life has been dedicated to service", Malcom says, "and it's not time to stop yet. God saved me for a reason."

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Next is incumbent, Armando Ramirez, an individual who is always amusing. Generally, he's a very nice guy but awful as the Clerk! One of his big 'accomplishments' was when he held a marriage ceremony at midnight, forcing some employees to work the event, and attempting to capture media coverage for doing so. Needless to say, while his wedding ceremony did make it to local networks, his was NOT the first ceremony conducted but he did gain favor from the Gay community, including Cheryl Grieb, who was also married in that ceremony. Most of the ceremony was paid for by the taxpayers.
Here's Mr. Ramirez's statement:

Candidate's Statement
Armando Ramirez
Osceola County Clerk of the Courts

Mr. Armando Ramirez, your current Osceola County Clerk of the Circuit Court, is a leader and trailblazer within the community. Serving the people of Osceola County has been his primary focus even before he was elected as the Clerk of Courts. Just as an Osceola citizen, before being elected into an official position, Mr. Ramirez strived for (and eventually accomplished) social justice in the Osceola County election system and the Osceola County School Board – a struggle that lasted a decade1.

It is with the same tenacity and fortitude that he has served as the Osceola County Clerk of Court. As evidenced below, Mr. Ramirez has brought sweeping enhancements in all Clerk Office functions, including court efficacy, payment efficiency, IT infrastructure, increased community presence, employee diversification, etc. Not only has Mr. Ramirez cultivated improvements in Clerk office, he consistently brings extensive knowledge of nationally trending issues to ensure that Osceola is ready to address foreseeable issues it may encounter with informed prudence2.
Mr. Ramirez’s track record as a fully-involved national and Osceola County citizen, proponent for equality for underserved and underprivileged groups, and as a champion for social justice fully prepared him to perform outstandingly as the Osceola County Clerk of the Circuit Court, and his contributions to the county will only multiply as he continues to serve in this capacity.
Additional information about Mr. Ramirez’s accomplishments and goals, including his biography, can be found at www.osceolaclerk.com and www.armandoramirez.com.

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The next candidate is John Overstreet. Basically a very nice guy with 35 years of experience working in the Clerk's Office.
We'll include his statement:

My name is John M. Overstreet and I’m running for the office of Clerk of the Circuit Court. During my 35-year career with the Osceola County Clerk’s Office, I’ve worked with four Clerks and with every department of the Clerk’s office, equipping me with the strengths required for this office. I’ve served as the administrator/director in the circuit, county and recording departments and established the information technology division. Because of this, I’ve gained insight into every aspect of the office. Serving in these positions gave me the opportunity to develop relationships with executives throughout the local Judicial System, County government, county Clerk’s Offices, as well as numerous contacts in the state capital. My college degree is customized to lead this office. Having experienced many styles of leadership, I know what works the best in any given situation and will use this knowledge to restore self-respect and pride in the services the Clerk employees provide.

There are three main issues I aim to tackle in the Clerk’s Office. First, I plan to enhance customer service by continually improving technology, which could eliminate repeat trips to the courthouse. When a citizen is required to come to the Office, procedures must be in place, guaranteeing their business is performed quickly and efficiently. Second is the need to guarantee fiscal responsibility within the Clerk’s Office. I will guard your taxpayer dollars by instituting financial controls to reduce waste and inefficiency. Finally, I want to restore the public’s confidence in the Office of the Clerk. I’ve dedicated my life to our local judicial system and will bring the office back to the place of respect it deserves.

My overwhelming experience, strong business relationships and commitment to Osceola County make me the most qualified candidate to be your next Clerk of the Circuit Court.

Next is James Jordan and his statement; ummmm, there is none. An attorney, he resides at 2756 Big Timber Dr. Kissimmee, FL 34758, however, no candidate statement has been filed, but he posted a $1,000.00 loan, made by the candidate himself. Again, we do not know him at all but just know he has an interest in becoming the Clerk of Courts.
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Next, and finally, is Mr. Arthur Osborne. Here is his statement:

Candidate's Statement

I possess an extensive background, focused skill sets, and a proven work ethic that stems from almost 30 years’ experience in the criminal justice system.
In my role as a law enforcement officer, I have held many Clerk of the Court related assignments. These include being the Executive Officer to the Grand Jury, Executive Officer to the Circuit Court, and serving seven years as the Traffic liaison between my agency and the Clerk of the Court.

As court liaison and Chief of Staff, I was exposed to budget responsibilities, money allocations, revenue allocations, records management, personnel management, and in learning first-hand the ethical responsibility of the clerk’s office for public transparency. It was during this time as liaison that I developed my love for the office and a desire to become the Clerk of the Court.

Through my various Clerk of the Court related assignments, I have worked to streamline the subpoena process, minimize court time, and helped to minimize the citation errors for my agency’s 1800 law enforcement officers.

Though hardly known outside of the criminal justice system, one of the most sensitive tasks of the clerk’s office is to maintain and secure evidence. It is a big part of any criminal trial procedure. In this regard, I am a recognized expert witness in chain of custody and evidence preservation issues.

I have served on active duty with the United States Army and later served as a reservist for the United States Marines. In addition to my military training, I have a proven track record in leadership and management. This record includes being an Executive Officer to the Circuit Court, an entrepreneur and business owner, a Presidential Protection Detail Instructor, Florida Department of Law Enforcement Instructor, PBA Liaison, and disciplinary board member.

Being very community oriented, I have served on many committees, boards and service oriented organizations. I currently serve as the Chairman of the Osceola County Commission Homeless Advisory Board and I am a Central Florida Homeless Task Force member. I am also a member of the American Legion, American Legion Riders, the Blue Knights® International Police Motorcycle Club, FOP, and ELKS Club. In previous years, I was also a Boys Scouts Corporate Sponsor, Golden Eagle Fundraiser, and a part of Cub Scouts Pack 9.

I am committed to making the Osceola County Clerk of the Court one of the best in the state. I have the background, drive, and passion to make a positive difference.

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There you have it, all the candidates running. Yes, there's a primary election first, which will determine who goes on to the final November election OR is elected through the primary election candidates are listed as Democrats! The winner out of the Democratic bunch will face off with Malcom Thompson, who is running independently. We could rip through several of the candidates' alleged mass experience however, citizens had better start asking questions today and learn about these candidates. We will say that we believe Malcom Thompson should be returned to office. We believe he lost to Ramirez partly because of his Hispanic background, and the rest because he comes across as a nice guy, BUT, he should NOT be returned to office based on his performances in, and out of the office. Unfortunately, he has, in our opinion, been somewhat of an embarrassment to the community and if he had any good sense left, he would not campaign for his reelection.

We also believe Thompson is truly dedicated to public service and, most of all, efficiency. The Clerk's Office needs to become efficient again. The office also needs to cut the wasteful spending and return excess funds to the taxpayers! It's been awhile since that's occurred! Rather than allowing the Clerk's Office to continue being the butt of jokes, it should be returned to an experienced, and hard working dedicated public servant, Malcom Thompson.

The former "Chief of staff" worked that position for a VERY short time and was terminated by Ramirez after deciding he did not need Osborne at all. Of course rumors circulated surrounding Osborne's dismissal and speculation was that he actually would disappear from the Clerk's Office and visit other agencies within the building, leaving the Clerk's office behind. Perhaps Ramirez became irritated due to the many rumors floating around the CourtHouse, but either way, Osborne was terminated after a VERY short time at the courthouse. He boasts about his experiences, however, many of his 'experiences' were in Orange County and we're told he also was assigned to the motor patrol and garage. He does possess lots of experience in many occupations.

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That's all we got today, and we'd like to thank those who have jumped in here to take a look. Feel free to leave a comment, (just keep it clean,please). We wish everyone a great rest of the weekend and God bless you all!

Comment from: Jamie [Visitor]

I cannot believe I'm saying this but I agree that Malcom Thompson is better for the job than any other.
I am also upset that the county commissioners are trying to circumvent the Charter itself! Those voting in favor of changing the charter should be horsewhipped and dragged through the streets. I really do not like all five of them!

06/09/16 @ 20:14

Comment from: Ruben S [Visitor]

Couldn't agree more.alcolm is the best choice for the job

06/09/16 @ 20:33

Comment from: Miranda Q [Visitor]

My eyes begin to glaze over reading the candidates "vision" for us citizens. Nationally, locally whatever, it starts sounding all the same about giving us citizens the good leadership we deserve etc etc...

I prefer to find out what the employees of the office think. Fortunately with a local election I was able to talk with some of the current employees to get a better understanding and a more clear picture.
None of them favored retaining their current clerk but instead said that Mr Overstreet had the experience, temperment and respect of the employees. My humble opinion...that is a great combination of leadership qualities and it makes a lot of sense! I wouldn't know Mr Overstreet if I met him in the hall but I know who's getting my vote.

06/09/16 @ 21:27

Comment from: Carl [Visitor]

Wow! Is all we can say. Seems we stirred up another hornets nest so we do need to explain that our blog contains OUR OPINION and that's it. Please understand that we base MOST of our blogs on OPINIONS, but try to get as close as possible to information that correctly substantiates our opinions. Sometimes, we get it wrong, but our opinion stands on the candidates selected. Thank you all for your emails and comments!

Carl

06/10/16 @ 13:08

Comment from: gorp13 [Member]

Mr. Overstreet has none of Malcolm's baggage. He is very well respected and has shown himself to be a great leader behind the scenes. While I agree that Malcolm is a nice guy it takes more than that. Hell, Armando is a nice guy and I've known him personally for over 20 years. Because of that personal knowledge of him behind the scenes, I cannot vote for him. Many of the "rumors" you speak of about Osborn are very very close to being absolute. He made no friends and was given an exorbitant pay to do a job he didn't appeat to be prepared for. I am for Mr. Overstreet 100%.

06/10/16 @ 17:14

Comment from: Carl [Visitor]

All we can say is we KNOW Malcom Thompson will be in the election in November. Now, who he'll face is another blog's worth!

06/11/16 @ 23:05

Comment from: Vacay [Visitor]

So, are you guys on vacation again?

I miss the consistent posts of the past.

07/16/16 @ 14:48

Comment from: Turd Mole with Talons [Visitor]

Mullet Wrapper wasted away!

07/16/16 @ 23:26

Comment from: Emma [Visitor]

Armando is the worst clerk of court that Osceola county has ever had. First he should use a competent person who at least knows that spell check exists to type up his letters. It's blows my mind that with the budget cut to the courts state wide, his administration managed to lay off 3 long time employees but yet he has hired 31 people, all of who are a friend or family of someone who works above management level, within the last year. I've heard employees recently state that they have been told that the clerks office does not have any money in its budget for work supplies so the copy paper that is currently in stock has to last them until October. Wow, a courthouse is expected to run with limited supplies. How about Armando Ramirez,Jennifer Soto and Angela McDaniel use the money they receive from their hefty salaries to supply the clerks office with the paper it needs at least. This administration pays Angela McDaniel, her assistant, Jennifer Soto and her assistant great salaries to never be at the clerks office. You are lucky if they give face at least once a month. It amazes me what people of Osceola county have no idea of. If your in with the Ramirez group you can have a job position just created for you and you can even get your whole family a job one at a time. So much for the nepotism rule. What a joke. Osceola get your act together and do those poor employees who are afraid to speak out a favor and end this fools reign of terror and vote for Mr. Overstreet.

07/19/16 @ 23:59

Comment from: Jessie [Visitor]

Compliments to all those who elected the NEW Sheriff Gibson instead of politically motivated MR. Sklarek! I miss Carl Cricket and his last election pick was true to good form! GIBSON wins!! The snooze gazette should have read; Sklarek LOSES!

12/03/16 @ 16:32


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