Two More Clerk Candidates

A fourth and a fifth candidate have announced that they’re seeking the position of Albemarle Court Clerk, attorney Lisa Graziano and businessman Alan Van Clief. Graziano holds degrees from AHS, UVa and W&L, and will be running as an independent. Van Clief will likewise be running as an independent (although he’s given generously and exclusively to Republicans), saying both that the office should be “bipartisan” and that it “has no room for party politics.” He holds degrees from UVa and Catholic University.

8 thoughts on “Two More Clerk Candidates”

  1. Can somebody explain to me why we have to vote for somebody to have the job of Court Clerk? Are there public policy issues involved here that I’m just not seeing?

    I’m all for democracy, but, somehow this seems like voting for Office Manager. Shouldn’t somebody else, who is publicly accountable, just be interviewing and hiring an appropriately skilled candidate?

  2. Waldo, you said Van Clief gave heavily to the republicans? Looking at the link you gave, most of that was to Paul Harris who last ran 7 or 8 years ago. Actually, the level of donations since then has been fairly small and for local candidates, possibly just friends.

  3. Harry I’m total with you. The election for clerk of the court, Sheriff, and those Soil conservation jobs are no longer of much value.

  4. Why don’t we get to vote for dogcatcher/animal control officer? Than we can use that great old expression again–couldn’t get elected dogcatcher.

  5. Harry, I’m glad I’m not the only person who has this question. If there are multiple candidates, how does one choose between them? What kind of mudslinging goes on between the candidates? I know most local elections are popularity contests to some degree, but here it seems like it can’t be anything but.

  6. Hold on there, y’all. The election of these “Constitutional Officers” provides for a much-needed balance of power. Please remember that while Charlottesville and Albemarle have police departments that have the actual policing power, the Sheriff’s Department doesn’t really. They have no or limited powers of arrest, traffic citation etc. However, in rural counties like Buckingham and Greene, they are the law, complete with investigational and arrest powers.

    The Clerk’s office needs to be elected as the Clerk oversees so much important legal data: real estate, court records, etc. You would hate to see any of those “disappear” due to pressure by the person (mayor, or chairman of board of supervisors) responsible for the Clerk’s hiring. In a system where our judges are *appointed*, it’s nice to know there is an *elected* official to keep an eye on things.

    The Sheriffs, in jurisdictions where they are the only law enforcement, have sometimes been known to operate a little “above the law”, even if never charged by their elected counterpart, the Commonwealth’s Atty. But the electorate can remove them if they want. Having practically all the civic jobs be appointed positions is pretty dangerous if you ask me; too many old boy appointments in response to political favors rendered. And for some fairly high salaries too.

    Also gang, you are politically way off trend. We just went from appointed to elected school boards in the city (actually the whole Commonwealth). You saw the ridiculous shenanigans that went on in the appointed city board, and that lead to the elected school board initiative that lead to our elected school board. I would actually like to see judges elected too, like in most other states. That way judges that are too harsh, too lenient, or otherwise make unsound judgements can be removed by the community on whom they render justice. This as opposed to the majority party that appointed them and may be loathe to remove them. In Virginia, in the Democratic-party controlled past, the judges were all Democrats. Today, in a Republican-controlled legislature, the judges are mostly Republicans. How about “we the people” get to decide. Hmmm, quite a concept that.

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