Over light refreshments at the Legislative District 18 office on Guadalupe and Rural, career Prosecutor Roberta Miller relayed why she believes she is the best candidate to serve as the Clerk of the Maricopa County Superior Court System.
There are 15 (if you include the law libraries) sites for the Maricopa County Superior Court System in Maricopa. The primary purpose of the Clerk of the Court and their 600 person staff is to gather, maintain, and preserve all the records of all the actions conducted by all the courts within the Superior Court System. They are also the specialists that process and record passport applications, marriage licenses, court proceedings, and the online data system. It is a nonpartisan office with no political agenda to promote.
The current Clerk of the Maricopa County Superior Court System is Chris DeRose, an appointee that Miller feels may use his position as a political stepping stone to higher office. She believes that the office of clerk and the staff that serves the clerk and the courts should be above reproach, dedicated to serving the people and not serving their own political ambitions.
Who is Roberta Miller?
Roberta Miller is an accomplished advocate and jurist, serving in the Maricopa and Pinal County court systems for over thirty years. She has been a prosecuting attorney, a civil defense advocate and a city pro tem judge in Tempe, Mesa, and the Maricopa County Superior Court. While an attorney, she worked on DUI’s, violent crime, and sex crimes. As a civil defense attorney, she represented the County Assessor’s Office and Department of Transportation and often dealt with the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors. She has always been a public servant. She has never sought elected office until now but feels this position requires a nonpartisan public servant who believes in good government and serving the people.
What Roberta Miller sees as her role as Clerk for Maricopa County Superior Court?
How do you think a couple would feel if their marriage license was delayed or your passport application became lost? Realizing that an inefficient court clerk system could result in delays and hardships for the people the office is supposed to serve, Ms. Miller wants to first ensure that the clerk’s office runs in a professional and efficient manner. She has pledged to keep all the current staff including the Deputy Clerk that has performed well in their roles. Saying, “if you do not fund the government, you do not get good government,” she wants a well qualified and numbered staff that can meet the needs of the county residents
One of the areas that the system has lagged behind in serving the people is restitution to victims. When a person or business is found guilty of civil or criminal wrongdoing, fines may be one component of the sentence handed down by the judge. Sometimes these payments take years to collect. In that time, the victim or their beneficiaries may move out of the county and not leave a forwarding address. Miller notes that there is currently $3,000,000 sitting in the court accounts because court investigators have not been able to find the people to pay what is owed them. Miller wants to improve on this performance by hiring investigative staff that will do a better job at finding the people that are owed the money. Furthermore, she wants to fix the long-term flaws on the court website which has made it difficult for victims to access the court database.
Finally, Miller also wants to create better interactions and rapport between the people and the court administration and other departments like law enforcement. Such overtures would create a more customer-friendly atmosphere and reduce potential hardships when difficult matters arise. She would do this by gathering her deputy and the other leading heads in the clerk’s office, arrive at a team consensus on the best approaches, take their conclusions to the Administrators and finalize a plan of action to better serve the people.
Along with her “great” campaign manager Randy Perez, Ms. Miller has crisscrossed the county speaking at all LD offices except LD 17 (she hopes to be there in September). She has a well-developed social media presence (links to her sites including introductory videos are below) as well as a mailing and door knocking campaign planned. She is urging all Democrats, Independents, and disillusioned Republicans to get involved and pay attention to the lower ballot races because these races are just as important for local concerns as state and national ones. She believes she is the best-qualified person seeking this position and she pledges to serve the people in a non-partisan fashion. She encourages other technocrats, rather than ambitious party hacks, like her, to run for office and serve. She presents a very compelling case for her candidacy and voters should consider her record and positions when voting this year.