10/26/06 — Minshew, Winders battle for clerk of court job

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Minshew, Winders battle for clerk of court job

By Andrew Bell
Published in News on October 26, 2006 2:38 PM

Pam Minshew and Randy Winders said they both believe they have the knowledge and experience to be Wayne County's next clerk of court -- but for different reasons.

Mrs. Minshew has spent the last 25 years in nearly every department of the clerk of court's office. She said she believes her knowledge of the office, every staff member and the job they conduct makes her the most qualified person for the position.

"I have the knowledge to run the clerk's office and serve the people of Wayne County with the utmost respect and courtesy," Mrs. Minshew said.

Although Winders has never run for office, he said his 33 years of experience in management has taught him how to run any kind of office efficiently and cost-effectively. As a Winn-Dixie supermarket manager, Winders oversaw a multi-million dollar business and its 120 employees.

Winders said some Wayne County leaders did not have experience in their fields before being elected to office, such as former sheriffs and Clerk of Court Marshall Minchew.

Minchew, no relation to Mrs. Minshew, is not seeking re-election and will retire once his term is finished.

If given the opportunity to serve as the clerk of court, Winders said he would try to streamline operations in the office.

"I'd take the politics out and put business practices in," he said.

The first step would be to evaluate each department within the clerk's office and determine ways each could be more efficient. Employees would be asked for their input as well, he added.

Mrs. Minshew said she will not have to ask too much about how to run the clerk's office more efficently. She has already been working with her fellow staff members to streamline operations there -- and worked with them to improve customer service as well.

She said jobs in the clerk of courts office are crucial to the people of Wayne County. The office handles judicial decisions and serves the county through family estate, civil and criminal cases.

Mrs. Minshew was recently appointed by Minchew as the office's administrative assistant. In addition to her usual duties, Mrs. Minshew is in charge of the entire office when Minchew is not in the office, she said.

She said she had considered running for the clerk's position in previous years, but added she never wanted to run against someone she worked with. Once Minchew announced he would retire after this term, Mrs. Minshew said she knew she was capable of performing the job and decided to throw her hat into the ring.

"I think the voters should vote for the person with the most experience. Please remember the years I've spent in the clerk's office and the knowledge I've gained over the years," Mrs. Minshew said.

At about this time last year, Randy Winders was contracted out by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help Hurricane Katrina victims. Only a week after returning, Winders registered himself as a candidate for the Wayne County clerk of court race.

Winders said he wants to create a team effort in the clerk of court's office, seeking input from every employee and customer on making the office more efficient and available to the public.

"A team always gets more done than one individual," he said.

And the clerk's office provides the avenue to work as a team and to serve the citizens of Wayne County, just as he served the community for the past three decades, Winders said.