2 seeking Republican nomination for Clerk of Court seat

Heidi Barshinger and Sherry Fones will compete June 9 for the Republican nomination to seek the Henrico Clerk of Court seat in the Nov. 3 general election, during which the winner will face at least one challenger, Tinesha Jackson (a paralegal in the Henrico County Attorney’s office). Both candidates responded to the Citizen's candidate questionnaire, and their answers appear below.

1. Why should voters select you as the Republican nominee for the Clerk of Court’s seat?
If you want to run a strong Republican candidate against the Democrat nominee, who is a paralegal, then I am that candidate. The Clerk of Court is not a secretary! The Code of Virginia lists more than 800 duties for the Clerk of Court. Education, qualifications and experience are needed. I offer all of these things, whereas my opponent does not. I have been an attorney for 29 years and have practiced law in Henrico County for the past 15 years as a prosecutor, a court appointed attorney, and a guardian ad litem. I work with the Code of Virginia on a daily basis, I am a former Henrico County Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney with prior supervisory and management experience, and I have run my own law practice for the last 4 years. I have worked before the Judges and with the court clerks, attorneys, law enforcement, and probation officers on a daily basis. My experience with all of these Henrico agencies makes me the most qualified candidate for the job and the best person to challenge the Democrat candidate in November. Henrico County Republicans need to win the Senate, Commonwealth’s Attorney and Clerk of Court positions in November!

2. What would be your top focus if you ultimately are elected to the seat in November?
I would continue the high quality of customer service that Henrico residents have come to expect from Yvonne Smith’s office and continue to look into further technological advancements that could benefit customers in the future.

3. If elected, which policies and procedures would you seek to keep in place? Which would you seek to update or change?
I, like many of our county leaders, am a fiscal conservative. It is hard to say at this point what needs to be changed from the outside looking in. I would need to review all of the current office policies and procedures, meet with staff members, and see what if any changes need to be implemented.

4. What’s your favorite way to spend a weekend?
I enjoy watching my kids’ soccer and basketball games, going to church on Sunday mornings with my family, spending quality time with family and friends, working in the yard, playing with our dogs, and reading books.

5. What personal or professional clubs or organizations are you a member of?
The Henrico County Bar Association, Virginia State Bar, Second Baptist Church Deacon, Second Baptist Church CIA Sunday School class, Godwin High School German Club chaperone, Duke University Alumnae Association and Tulane Law School Alumnae Association.

6. Additional information
I am endorsed by Yvonne Smith, current Clerk of Court and Sheriff Mike Wade. If elected as the Republican candidate for Clerk of Court, I will work as hard to promote the other Republican candidates, as I will myself.

* * *

1. Why should voters select you as the Republican nominee for the Clerk of Court’s seat?
I seek this nomination because I want to serve my community in a larger capacity. I am not seeking this nomination for job security or a steady paycheck. I already have both. There are 120 Clerks’ of Court in the state. Only 11 of those Clerks are attorneys. I want to make a difference in Henrico and I don’t have to be a lawyer in order to succeed in this position. Over the last 20 years as a Henrico County government employee, I have displayed the necessary skills and capabilities to perform at the highest level. I am a reliable leader, trusted problem solver and devoted public servant.

2. What would be your top focus if you ultimately are elected to the seat in November?
Customer service will be my first focus. Whether interacting with the judges, attorneys, other Henrico departments, private citizens or outside agencies, service to these stakeholders will be paramount. I truly believe that if we can all understand what is required of each other, the system itself will be greatly improved. One of my goals is to open the lines of communication and unite the different departments who operate within the Henrico Circuit Court system.

3. If elected, which policies and procedures would you seek to keep in place? Which would you seek to update or change?
Communication is key. If there are certain guidelines that govern the day-to-day work, everyone needs to be aware of the rules or standards. Long-standing policies and procedures need to be reviewed for efficiency and modernization. There are new options for digitizing records and offering access to firms or users on a paid subscription basis. Offering access via a computer, rather than having to come to the clerk’s office in person along with other modern upgrades, will free up staff within the clerk’s office and increase efficiency, thus creating a positive ripple effect on customer satisfaction.

4. What’s your favorite way to spend a weekend?
I enjoy relaxing with family, hosting gatherings, taking a trip to Nags Head, baking, and the occasional bargain hunting shopping trip to the mall or an outlet.

5. What personal or professional clubs or organizations are you a member of?
I belong to Staples Mill Road Baptist Church and Greenwood Elementary PTA. I enjoy learning new and challenging aspects of local government. Last year, I had the opportunity to become a certified member of the Henrico County Incident Management Team. I have also taken courses through FEMA and Homeland Security. These organizations teach both public safety personnel and regular county employees how to organize and successfully manage large-scale events, whether it’s a high school graduation, the UCI bike race or a natural disaster such as a tornado, hurricane or flood.

6. Additional information
My advisors will probably not be happy with me for saying this, but I believe it is worth being said. As much as I want folks to vote Sherry Fones for Clerk, I believe it is far more important that people simply exercise their right to vote, period. The participation numbers for primary elections are staggering. Only 5 to 10 percent of all registered voters actually take the time to vote in a Primary. Our military protects our rights and have sacrificed their lives for these freedoms. Please vote every time you can.
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Reynolds CC dedicates student center

Reynolds Community College recently celebrated the dedication of the Jerry and Mary Owen Student Center, named for longtime supporters of the college who have made numerous investments in it.

Jerry Owen served on the Reynolds College Board from 1984 to 1988, and he and his wife support the college’s scholarship fund and created an endowment for the Reynolds Middle College, which helps students earn a high school equivalency and transition into a degree or workforce credential program. > Read more.

Capital One sponsors ‘Coders Experience’

Capital One hosted its “Coders Experience” event in Richmond and a number of other state locations Oct. 14. The events attracted hundreds of middle school girls, who learned how to create their own mobile apps, hone problem-solving skills and gain software development knowledge. A second day of Coders Experience events will take place Oct. 21. More than 500 Capital One volunteers are participating in the 10 events. > Read more.

Hermitage band member named All-American

The U.S. Army All-American Bowl Presented by American Family Insurance Selection Tour will visit Hermitage H.S. Oct. 19 to recognize Truman Chancy as a 2018 U.S. Army All-American. Hermitage High School will honor Chancy before his classmates, bandmates, family and friends at the high school’s band room during band practice, and he will be presented with his honorary All-American Marching Band jacket. > Read more.

Crime Stoppers’ Crime of the Week: Oct. 16, 2017

This week, Metro Richmond Crime Stoppers is asking for the public to assist the Richmond Police Department in the identification of wayward artists that were using buildings as their canvas.

In the early morning hours of Sept. 14, four people were recorded on security cameras vandalizing multiple properties in the area of the 2500 blocks of West Main Street and Floyd Avenue. The suspects (pictured) were walking north on Robinson Street and spray painting the properties as they meandered along. > Read more.

Slipping through

Hermitage quarterback Jay Carney escapes defenders during the Panthers' 33-0 win against Godwin Friday night. Hermitage is 8-0 and has won its past four games by a combined score of 172-28. > Read more.

Henrico Business Bulletin Board

October 2017

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The Secret Sisters will perform at 8 p.m. at The Tin Pan, 8982 Quioccasin Rd. The Secret Sisters – Laura and Lydia Rogers – recently released their biting and beautiful third LP, produced by Brandi Carlile, titled “You Don't Own Me Anymore.” Seasoned Americana artist Mary Bragg will open the show at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. Doors open at 6 p.m. For details, call 447-8189 or visit http://www.tinpanrva.com. Full text

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