Written by Clerk of Courts Ruth A. Wilson
This is the time of year when some might tune up a rendition of Auld Lang Syne and think about “the good old days” when life was far simpler. The pace of things was much slower and more predictable. Everybody knew each other and neighbors were in and out of each other’s kitchens regularly. Reminiscing about the way things used to be is comforting in many respects. It helps us to cherish all the small but special things that make us smile inside. Holding on to those memories is just as comforting as a slice of warm ginger bread with a hot toddy in front of a crackling fire. Oh, for the days gone by, the sweet days of yore.
But then, reality interrupts those recollections. Troublesome facts get in the way. The truth is that the Good Old Days were sometimes not that good for everybody, especially if you were trying to do business with the Rockdale Courts. We have come a long way since then and the public is now much better served.
Back in the day, you had to do business with us strictly during business hours. If you needed the answer to a specific question, you had to almost hit the lottery to catch that person at their desk. There was no voicemail so you could leave a message anytime of day or night. There was no website where you could get most of your questions answered. If you had to pay a traffic citation, you probably had to take a day off your job to come to court. Now, most people can pay it online any time of day or night and don’t have to personally appear.
Today, if you are called to serve jury duty, you will see that the jury pool actually looks like the county in terms of its demographic diversity. Attorneys are no longer required to come to the courthouse to review their cases because we provide them remote access. That frees them to better serve their clients. And the list of Process Improvements, new services and conveniences goes on and on.
Change is hard and takes time. It also takes people who are willing to let go of some of their comforts in order to do more and to do better for more of the public. The Rockdale Clerk of Courts Office is fortunate to have a team of change makers and chain breakers. We are no longer tied to the “It’s ALWAYS Been Done That Way” thinking. We are much less paper dependent and much more technically nimble. This means we are able to not just work hard, but also to work smart. That translates into effective stewardship of public funds, high quality customer service, responsiveness to the needs of the courts and treating every individual with respect and courtesy. We love what we do and look forward to 2018 with a sense of our history to build upon. We will not forget the Auld Lang Syne. We are Preserving the Past While Preparing For the Future.
Throughout each month, the clerk of courts, tax commissioner, sheriff and probate judge—Rockdale’s elected constitutional officers—discuss topics relevant to their respective roles.