Simpson to run for re-election
September 6, 2018
Southern Torch (3287 articles)
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Simpson to run for re-election

By Staff Reports

DEKALB COUNTY, Ala. — DeKalb County Circuit Clerk Pam Simpson has announced that she will seek reelection to another term. Simpson said she feels her experience makes her uniquely qualified for the job.

“My experience is unmatched by any other candidate,” Simpson said. “I worked for three different circuit clerks before deciding to make my own run for the job in 2006. At that time, I felt it was time to let the people of DeKalb County choose between a candidate capable of doing the job, or a politician.”

Simpson won her bid in 2006 and has been reelected during each subsequent election. Simpson has deep roots in DeKalb County – she is the daughter of R.L. and Elzie Bailey, and grew up on a chicken farm in Fyffe. Simpson – then Bailey – graduated from Fyffe High and began her career in the circuit clerk’s office soon after, serving as an assistant clerk while simultaneously attending evening classes at Northeast Alabama Community College.

Simpson said she has seen some significant changes in the clerk’s office during her tenure, with one of the most significant occurring in 1977, when the circuit clerk’s office transitioned from a county office to a state office under the Administrative Office of Court. After this change, Simpson served as a court specialist with her primary duties being clerk to the district court, handling such diverse areas as misdemeanor, traffic, small claims, civil, and juvenile cases. She also assisted with all circuit civil, circuit criminal, Grand Jury, divorce, and child support cases.

     While working full-time, Simpson also continued to pursue completion of her college degrees. She graduated from NEACC in 1977. Simpson would also go on to graduate from the University of Alabama in 1986 with a Bachelor of Science in Human Resources, a program she completed in only three years while she continued to work for the circuit clerk’s office.

     Simpson was promoted in 1996 to deputy clerk, warrant clerk, and bookkeeper, making her the chief financial officer for judicial system and responsible for handling millions of dollars in public funds, responsible for all personnel matters in the circuit clerk’s office, and responsible for the issuance of criminal warrants following determination of probable cause. She served in this role up until her election to the circuit clerk’s position in 2006.

     “I continue to be dedicated to the job and to the people of DeKalb County, the people that I serve,” Simpson said. “I continue to be a working clerk with a hands-on approach. I issue warrants and reconcile multiple bank accounts while also successfully completing my other duties as circuit clerk.”

     The circuit clerk’s other responsibilities include serving as the absentee election manager during election years, juror management, serving on the canvasing board, serving as chief magistrate of DeKalb County, and serving as the passport agent for the county as a public service. The circuit clerk’s office works closely with sheriff’s offices, police departments, and various state and federal agencies.

    Simpson has been instrumental in making improvements to the circuit clerk’s office in recent years, including the implementation of “e-filing,” which allows all cases to be electronically filed and accessible – giving judges, attorneys, paralegals, judicial assistants, all court personnel, and the public full access to filing in real time. The implementation of e-filing and other improvements made by Simpson have been done despite personnel cutbacks that have been in place in the circuit clerk’s office since 2011.

     “The judicial system has evolved significantly during my time at the circuit clerk’s office,” Simpson said. “My staff and I have trained to enhance the efficiency of the office.” Simpson has earned more than 300 hours of continuing education credits from the Administrative Office of Courts. “As the chief financial officer, the circuit clerk is an office of public trust collecting millions of dollars in public funds and distributing these funds to state, county, and municipal offices, as well as to local businesses and to the public for restitution payments – as clerk, all funds are audited by the examiners of public accounts on a two-year cycle and we must also maintain a yearly self-audit as a requirement of the department of risk management. So, this is a job that does require a significant amount of work and knowledge and also the trust of the people, which is something I take very seriously.”

     Simpson said she feels she is able to “relate to the people of DeKalb County as a worker, not a politician. I started at the bottom and worked my way up. I never asked to start at the top with a political position. I would ask my constituents to think of me as a public servant who is capable of doing the job for them. I have an open-door policy to all citizens of DeKalb County. I am transparent and open to any questions about the job of circuit clerk. True leadership comes with knowing the job and I don’t have to be trained to be the circuit clerk.”

     Simpson and her husband, Clayborn, haven’t wandered far from Simpson’s roots – they live on a cattle farm in the Grove Oak community. The couple have two children, Brandi and Bradley, and two granddaughters. Simpson is a member of Greens Chapel Baptist Church. She serves on the Top of Alabama Regional Counsel of Government (TARCOG) board, the CASA board of DeKalb County and   NACC Office Administration advisory board.

Southern Torch

Southern Torch

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