The Youngstown Municipal Court is located in City Hall on 26 Phelps Street. The current Clerk of Court, Sarah Brown-Clark, took office in January, 2000.
Previously, she was a professor at Youngstown State University. Her innovative ideas and forward thinking are helping to modernize aspects of operation both rapidly and smoothly.
The following are words from the desk of Sarah Brown-Clark:
On January 1, 2000, I assumed the position of Youngstown Municipal Clerk of Court after being duly elected on November 2, 1999. In the past year, I hired twelve additional staff, eight of which have college degrees. The remaining four new employees have extensive experience in Government, Education and Collections. Currently, the Clerk of Court Office employs thirty Deputy Clerks. The experienced staff that was retained by my new administration has a combined total of over one hundred and fifty years of experience in the Municipal Clerk of Court office. Their experience, willingness to train new staff and willingness to embrace change contributed greatly to the success of the past year.
In keeping with my commitment to maximize the operations of the Municipal Clerk of Court office, I immediately requested a Performance Audit by the Auditor of the State of Ohio, Mr. Jim Petro. In the course of the actual performance of the audit, my Administrative Staff and I immediately began implementation of the auditor recommendations. In so doing, we have made great strides in our effort to improve the efficiency and the morale of the office. In the next year, we will continue to review the Performance Audit and phase in additional changes.
Upgrading the office technology has been a priority item on my agenda. With the assistance of my Administrative Team, I initiated this process by soliciting the input of Mr. James Mendel, an employee of the Ohio Supreme Court, who was involved in developing the initial contract language for computer installation. With the assistance of Mr. Mendel and the City Law Department, we have addressed many of the technology issues that impeded the maximum use of technology. We have purchased additional computers to allow for each employee to have a personal computer; we have upgraded existing programs and installed new software; we developed a web page for the Youngstown Municipal Clerk of Court Office and lastly, we are preparing to introduce on-line services.
The issue of Outstanding Fines and Costs was addressed by creating the position of Financial Collection Officer/Deputy Clerk. Since June 2000, we have been aggressively addressing the problem of delinquent fines and costs and have significantly improved our collection rate.
In compliance with Ohio Revised Code, the Clerk of Court Office has two divisions, Criminal/Traffic and Civil. In addition, we have two departments, Information Systems and Bookkeeping. Supervisors from each area comprise the Administrative Team that meets regularly to advise me in matters related to the daily operation of the office.
It is my opinion that professional development is an important part of an efficient operation and I have attended several conferences related to the operations of the Municipal Clerk of Court office. In addition, I have sent employees to conferences related to their particular assignments in an effort to assist them in upgrading their skills.
In summary, this has been an exciting and challenging year and I look forward to continued improvement of this office and continued service to the community. The staff of the Youngstown Municipal Clerk of Court office is committed to providing cost-effective, efficient service to the Municipal Judges and Court Staff as well as creating a user-friendly environment for the public.
Clerk of Court
Municipal Court of Youngstown