I strongly believe in listening to you and adhering to your concerns, wholeheartedly.
The elected clerk in Pasco County is only required to show up for work 8 days out of the whole year and makes almost $140,000 a year. That's why having an open door policy like I have will assure you that I am there for you when or if you need me. This also means that the employees are doing the work necessary to keep the offices running. Furthermore, all the degrees, awards or experience in the world doesn't matter when you only have to be there 8 days out of the year. Sure, I have an Office System Technology Degree and a Paralegal Degree that prepares for the managerial position for clerk of court, but does that really matter? No, it doesn't. I say that because all of the degrees, awards and experience in the world will not make someone work for you like they should. I am 100% for the people and will not steer away from that responsibility or pass the buck off to someone else. Not only do I have an open door policy, but I am giving back half of the salary to the people of the county and still have that open door policy where I will address any concerns or issues you have, personally, as needed. You deserve to have someone listen to you and adhere to your concerns. The current clerk of court, Paula O'Neil, was my inspiration to run against her. O'Neil would not get on the phone with me, meet me in person, or talk to me via any method, whatsoever, and it was even over something she caused that was unethical and immoral, and I vow to never do that to you. I will be laying out a chronological series of events that will show you exactly what she did that pulled me, drastically, in this direction to run against O'Neil for clerk of court. What O'Neil did should never come from an elected official representing the people.
- Cutting corruption
- Cutting inefficiency
- Cutting hidden agendas
- Cutting Wasteful Spending
- Cutting partisanship so I can be 100% for you
- Cutting Bureaucracy by having an open door policy
- Cutting my salary in half and give it back to the people
- Cutting mistreatment of volunteers, interns, and paid employees
Here is a quick glance of the plans I have as clerk of court:
Open Communication: I encourage you to come talk to me. I will listen to you and adhere to your concerns.
Cutting my salary in half: The current clerk of court makes almost $140,000 a year. I plan to cut that in half and give it back to the people where it belongs. That is almost $70,000 a year I am giving back by cutting each paycheck in half and putting it into a bank account: For the People.
Huge on Open Government: You will have easier access to all individual expenses and income from the clerk's offices. This will include adding more open records to the clerk's web site so you will have full access to all records where ever you are. Nothing, allowable by law, will be hidden from you view! That is a solemn promise to you! I would have NOTHING to hide, so you would have NOTHING to worry about.
Continue Modernizing: I will continue to modernize the clerk's offices with new technology as it is available. I will be looking into a more user friendly online system and receive feedback from you so we can utilize the system to the benefit of most everyone. Maybe even consider holding foreclosure sales on the steps of the courthouse and still have foreclosed properties on the web site as well. This will be analyzed for cost and other factors, including feedback from the people of the county. I am 100% for you so your voice really does matter to me.
Provide Training: The training would be on a regular basis with emphasis on motivating and inspiring the employees to provide the best possible service to the YOU, the people. If you are given wrong information by the staff, I want to know about it so that training can be implemented to help cut down on the bureaucracy. This training will include what the staff can and cannot answer so they do not get in trouble with unlicensed practice of law. But, on the same token, the staff should be able to answer questions without always directing someone to an attorney.
Cut out Wasteful Spending: Paula O'Neil is wastefully spending your tax dollars which takes away from using those funds in a more productive and wise manner. It hurts everyone when those funds do not truly go back to the people. The employees have not even had a raise in over five years and they serve you, the people. If the employees are treated right, they will treat you even better than they do now because they would be more inspired to do a better job. I would put a halt to any unnecessary spending and re-channel for the benefit of the people.
Analyze Financial Records: By analyzing the financial records, there is no telling how much wasteful spending there has been that I don't even know about. I am told that Paula O'Neil spent about $16,000 on the seal after she took office in 2008. I am also told she bought new furniture for her office and spent $27,000 and continues to spend money on her own office. I have tried to get access to those records, but O'Neil is not providing them as she is giving me a huge problem at getting those records. There is also a newspaper article that condemns O'Neil for trading in a car that cost taxpayers $1400. I have also discovered that O'Neil is sending the clerk's vehicles to dealerships in Pasco County for maintenance and service repairs instead of taking them to the county's maintenance department.
I was required to get 2,980 petitions in order to be placed on the ballot by petition. I cared enough to go out and get each and everyone of those petitions, myself, so I could meet you and shake your hands, personally. I did not pay anyone to get petitions for me or get volunteers to get them for that matter. That is the same service you would get as long as I am clerk of court.You DESERVE TO BE HEARD and YOUR VOICE really does matter to me!
I have a lot of big plans and it is all geared toward helping the people of the county. After all, you deserve a politician that cares about you and is willing to listen to your concerns. You deserve to be heard! Your voice really does matter to me and always will.I would NEVER lie to you!
Whatever I say I am going to do, I will do! I would never lie to you because I have a conscience and integrity and it would also make me feel horrible if I did not follow through with what I say I plan to do for you. I am not saying anything that I cannot fulfill. Who couldn't have an open door policy and listen and adhere to your concerns? Who couldn't cut wasteful spending? Who couldn't cut corruption and not allow it to continue or manifest it's ugly self if they really wanted to? Did you know that having an open door policy not only assures you that I am there serving you since the elected clerk only has to show up for work eight days out of the year, but it also cuts down on the bureaucracy you have to contend with and adhering to your concerns is big on my list?
Furthermore, the current clerk of court, Paula O'Neil, was my inspiration to run against her. Her unethical conduct in October pulled me in this direction. Even her employees in October were instructed to lie to me. I was lied to, lied about, and deceived horrendously by the clerk and her select staff. I would never do this to you. I am working on providing the documents to you and we all need to hold her accountable. Not only for what she did in October, but also from all the wasteful spending she is using with your tax dollars. What's even more disheartening is that every time I have been to where O'Neil speaks, she has been hiding behind the Republicans and does not even have to answer my questions. The Republicans want to blame me and say it is unethical for me to ask her questions just so she does not have to answer to the people on the unethical things she is doing to the people of this county.I am HUGE on OPEN GOVERNMENT and PUBLIC RECORDS!
I am also huge on open government and would like to see it in every format imaginable. That is another area that is big on my list. Not only that, but I am also big on public records. Nothing, allowable by law, will be hidden from your view.
This video shows you some of the bureaucracy I have had to contend with. Click on the arrow and it will run the video. What all could O'Neil be hiding that she does not want the people to know about? What you see in this video is a whole bunch of folders and pdf files. There were tons of folders to click on that would lead you to a huge list of pdf files. Can you imagine the hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of hours it would take to siphon through all that mess? Nothing was marked to even know what was in the folders or the pdf files. Not only that, but I went back to the records center to take more video and they no longer had them there for me to view. They changed it just like that and I went to the government center and Tim Jamison in Dade City used the excuse that I complained about it so they would not let me view those same files and folders again.OPEN GOVERNMENT is vital if we are to combat any wrongdoing. I am HUGE on OPEN GOVERNMENT and believe people should have full access to it and as user friendly as possible, as well as in many formats for easy accessibility. I want to push for more open government. People deserve to see every expense and income that comes in and goes out. After all, it is your money we are talking about and you deserve to see where it goes so we can all eliminate this outrageous waste of your tax dollars.
PUBLIC RECORDS is as important as OPEN GOVERNMENT because if people have full access to these records, less corruption will transpire. Nothing allowable by law will be hidden from your view as long as I am clerk of court! I am hugely BIG on both, OPEN GOVERNMENT and PUBLIC RECORDS, and believe people should have full access to these records.
Furthermore, after the clerk's office would not allow me to view the folders and pdf files again, in order for me to view the financial records of the clerk's offices, I was told I would have to pay almost $13.00 an hour to view them. The clerk used the excuse that they are original records and that she had to have someone sit with me, but I asked them, "Don't you have copies of the original records so I would not have to pay for them?" I do not want to have pay to view the financial records of the clerk's offices, which I wanted individual expenses that was being spent out by the clerk, herself, as I have been told she has been wastefully spending taxpayers dollars. I would never do this to you! You would have access to all the records without any type of bureaucracy, whatsoever, as long as I am clerk of court because I would have nothing to hide.
Unfortunately, O'Neil does not want me to have access to certain records that she does not want you to know about as she is making it very difficult for me to get the financial records that we are all entitled to see. Who knows what will actually be hidden in those records once I do get them. I was not asking to view original records, I was asking to view the financial records and if there are not copies of those original records, then why not? It's all a way of keeping things hidden so the people have no idea what is really going on with their money. This really infuriates me because you and I, both, deserve to know exactly what is being spent with our money. I would never do this to you!Analyze and scrutinize the financial records like there is no tomorrow.
The first thing I plan to do is to bring in an outside auditor and analyze and scrutinize everything that comes in and goes out of the clerk's offices. In the process, eliminate needless spending and utilize the resources available more efficiently as well as re-channel funds more productively. An outside auditor with no connections to the clerk's office and that has no connections to Pasco County is what I feel would be best because of the extra eyes that might find something that could be missed and someone with no connections to anything with the clerk's offices or the county, for that matter, is a way to find anything out of the ordinary. I have been told that there is a lot of wasteful spending going on with the present elected clerk of court and I have even pulled up something they haven't hidden from me that also shows wasteful spending. This includes the money the taxpayers are paying to big dealerships on the cost of repairing any breakdowns or maintenance of the vehicles used by the clerk's offices. Instead of the vehicles going to the county's maintenance department, O'Neil is having them serviced and maintained at the dealerships. Why do you suppose she would be doing this? What would she have to gain by costing the taxpayers all that extra money by not getting the cars serviced at the county's maintenance department? None of the dealerships would help my campaign and it doesn't take a genius to figure out why. They are getting all that business from O'Neil so why would they want to help my campaign?I am not greedy! Cutting my salary in half is the least I could do for you, the PEOPLE.
Cutting my salary in half and giving it back to the people of the county is also another area big on my list that will be implemented immediately, starting with cutting my salary in half every pay period and putting it into a bank account for the people. Not to the GOVERNMENT to wind up in some politician's pocket, but back to the PEOPLE where everyone can benefit from the money. I even plan to set up a tracking device so you can track the money to see how much is there and what it is being spent on. The current clerk makes almost $140,000 a year and you don't even know if she is there half the time since she only has to show up for work eight days out of the whole year. I am giving back almost $70,000 a year to the people of the county. I do not mind doing this and feel that if I can't live on almost $70,000 a year, there is something wrong, somewhere. I have a system on how I will do this. You, the People, will decide where to best use this money. A data base of comments from everyone in the county that would like to participate will be created. We will start with the majority of the people and work our way down to the minority of the people on what they would like to have done. No one will be left out, eventually, and we will use those funds I am giving back to help everyone excel.
We will research what the county is doing, what they won't do and can't do so we know where these funds I am giving back to the people, can be channeled in on what the county is not doing or won't do to help the people.
A few issues I have seen repeatedly are things like dental, where people have to go to a doctor to get rid of an infection caused by their gums and yet, they can't afford to go to the dentist to get that corrected so they don't wind up back at the doctor's office with another infection; homeless people is a huge problem and they need to be helped. Veterans have concerns; and so forth. By collaborate we can all come up with solutions that are important to each and every one of us.My qualifications do nothing for you, personally. They are only for my benefit.
When people ask me what my qualifications are, I tell them I have an Office System Technology Degree and a Paralegal Degree, but most importantly, I have integrity. I rate integrity higher than anything else, because it takes an honest person to care enough about the people to take the time to listen and adhere to their concerns. Besides, the only qualifications to run for office is to be a registered voter. If anything else was necessary for this position, it would, undoubtedly, be a part of the requirement. Sure, these degrees might help prepare me for the managerial position of clerk of court, but all the degrees and awards in the world do nothing for you if your elected official does not have the heart to adhere to your concerns.Experience does not matter when the clerk only has to be there 8 days out of the year.
When people ask me what experience I have, I tell them, it does not take much experience when the clerk only has to show up for work eight days out of the whole year. So experience does not even matter. Besides, the employees are already performing the duties necessary to run the offices. The clerk only oversees them to make sure the work gets done. As clerk of court, I would make sure that all the tasks get done quickly and as efficiently as humanly possible.Unethical conduct by the current elected clerk of court was my inspiration to run against her.
Running for office was the furthest thing on my mind when I was finishing up my last semester at Pasco/Hernando Community College in the Paralegal Studies Program. Before October 2011, I would have never thought of ever going into politics. However, life took a drastic turn in October that pulled me in this direction. In fact, it was the current clerk, Paula O'Neil, that was my inspiration to run against her.
Before I get to the heart of the matter of what transpired that pulled me in this direction, I would like to mention a few things, including how appalled I was that Paula O'Neil would not get on the phone with me or talk to me via any method, whatsoever. How disheartening to be completely ignored by an elected official that was supposed to be representing me as well as everyone else in the county. This not only inspired me to run, but it also made me realize even more than I already did on how important it was to give 100% of my time to the people. Realizing how badly I felt about being ignored by someone who was supposed to be working for me and that I help to pay her salary, I just could not stand by and think about her doing this to someone else. I was shocked and devastated on what O'Neil did and then not to talk to me about the problem was even more shocking. Therefore, I went online to the Pasco County Supervisor of Elections office at www.pascovotes.com to see who was running against O'Neil so I could help the person as I wanted someone in office that really cared about the people. To my surprise, no one was running against her.
I looked at my husband in disbelief and said, "I have no other choice but to run against her myself."
What O'Neil did was wrong and not doing all I could to hold her accountable would have been equally wrong and so I took the plunge into an unknown area because of a cause I truly believe in. I had no idea if I had to pay out any money to run or what I had to do, but I knew I had to do something. So, I contacted the elections office in Dade City to find out all the ins and outs of running for office as clerk of court and was so relieved when I didn't have to pay out money I didn't have to have a chance to get on the ballot. I had to sign an affidavit of undue burden so I didn't have to pay any money up front. If I didn't gather enough of the 2,980 valid petitions that was required to be placed on the ballot, I would have had to pay over 8,000 to be placed on the ballot, so you know how dedicated I had to have been in order to put myself into this stressful situation.
My husband (James) asked me what would happen if I didn't get all the petitions I needed and I told him that I would have to pay over 8,000. We looked at each other and shook our heads at the thought of having to get almost 3,000 petitions signed so I wouldn't have to pay the money they would require.
I hit the pavement most every day. The more signatures I got, the more confident I was to continue. I even found out that many people really didn't want O'Neil back in office. The majority of the petitions were signed by people wanting change for the better and really liked what I stood/stand for. A few politicians signed my petitions only out of obligation, but the feedback that I received from the people were not out of obligation but out of concerned individuals that really wanted to see things change for the better.
After about two months of getting petitions signed, I went to the doctor for a checkup. "What's wrong with your feet?" The doctor asked, as he looked at the brown blotches in amazement.
We both laughed when I told him, "They are tanned implants from being out in the sun getting petitions signed for hours at a time. I was wearing sandals that had holes in the top of them and the sun shined through the holes."
For all the hundreds, if not thousands of hours I spent getting petitions signed, James was there every step of the way. He would not let me get the petitions signed by myself as he wanted to watch my back, so he stayed in a hot vehicle for hours at a time waiting until I was done. Some people offered to help but I told them they had to stay near me so people could talk to me directly if they wanted to. I wanted to be there to shake everyone's hands and let them know who I was and what I stood for. I also wanted their feedback to know how they felt about things.
So, what happened that pulled me into the political realm? The unethical and malicious conduct by the current Pasco County clerk of court, Paula O'Neil. I was lied to, lied about and deceived, horrendously, by O'Neil and her select employees without even as much as an explanation of why they did it. O'Neil would not get on the phone with me or talk to me via method to get, whatever her problem was, resolved. That was lack of communication skills and lack of empathy for one of her constituents. To put it point blank, O'Neil sabotaged my internship and a job I had line up with an attorney. I have documents to prove the lies and inefficiency that came about from this deception. I would never do this to anyone, not alone an elected official that is supposed to be representing the people. I am running for office for a cause. If O'Neil did this to someone else, I would be running for that person because NO ELECTED OFFICIAL should EVER HURT one of their constituents, ever! I will be putting the documents on this web site, but in the meantime, if you would like to see them, please let me know and we can meet somewhere and I will show you the documents. My phone number and email address is below.Money was not a motivating factor.
When I first started running for office, I had no idea what the clerk's salary was because money was not a motivating factor. I didn't even find out until about January on what the clerk's salary was. I was really shocked that the elected clerk of court was making almost $140,000 a year. Wow! I had no idea like many other people I talked to who were just as shocked as I was. That is another positive aspect that came out of my bad experience with O'Neil because I am giving back half of the almost $140,000 to the people and let the people decide where to spend the money. I see so many things people need in this county and I do not mind giving it back to YOU. This will even help offset some of your tax dollars by creating and implementing programs that will help whatever need you have.Zero tolerance for corruption.
I have ZERO TOLERANCE for corruption and will TACKLE it as necessary to ABOLISH it. It is the Christ in me that has zero tolerance for it. It's no secret that we have a lot of corruption in our government offices from local, to state, to national and we all need to do whatever it takes to get rid of it.I am 100% for the PEOPLE!
I am 100% for the PEOPLE and will adhere to any concerns you have, personally, as needed. The current clerk refused to talk to me via any method, and I vow to never do that to anyone.I have an OPEN DOOR policy!
I have an OPEN DOOR POLICY that allows you to come see me with any concerns YOU have and they will be addressed and dealt with as quickly as possible. I will listen and adhere to your concerns, wholeheartedly.Continue electronically modernizing the clerk's offices with feedback from you.
I plan to continue MODERNIZING the clerk's offices as the Legislature requires of the clerk's offices throughout the state. This is another area to research as there are some counties that have better user friendly systems compared to the one that is currently in use in Pasco County, according to what I a have been told. I would like to find the best user friendly program available to make it easier for everyone that uses the electronic system. This research would include the most cost effective program we can get, feedback from the people on what they would like to have done and analyze the cost up front compared to the long term cost affect.Treat all employees with the respect they deserve and offer incentives for ethical behavior.
Utilize VOLUNTEERS and INTERNS to the fullest extent possible and treat them with the same respect as paid employees.
Treat the employees like they deserve to be treated and give them incentives to help keep them motivated and inspired to provide the best job they can to the people they serve. Listen to the employees and adhere to their concerns so the employees are even more inspired to do a better job. I am huge on offering incentives for exemplary ethical and moral conduct and believe that is essential to combating corruption as well.Provide Training to the employees.
Provide training to the staff on what really constitutes the unlicensed practice of law and other issues that may arise, including motivational training as well to help inspire the employees even more so. If questions can be answered when YOU, the customer comes in to the clerk's offices for answers, then there should be no reason to send you to a lawyer if you can have the questions answered right then. That's why having an OPEN DOOR POLICY comes in handy so that you can come to me if you are not getting your questions answered. If you are given wrong information then the employee can be trained on that particular question so other people won't have to deal with that same bureaucracy.My only allegiance is to you!
I run NO Party Affiliation (NPA) because you cannot be 100% for the people like I am and still be beholden to a party. My only allegiance is to the people!
When it is all said and done, regardless of degrees, awards, or even experience I have, what really matters is what I plan to do for you! Any awards or degrees I have do nothing for you, personally. What really matters is what is in my heart to do for you! Everything I stand for is what I can do for the people and that's how it should be with all elected officials.
Keep checking back as more content will be added, periodically, and continually.
If you would like to contact me with comments, suggestions or just want to talk on the phone, here is my contact information:Roberta Cutting, Candidate for Clerk of the Court in Pasco County
P.O. Box 2944
Zephyrhills, FL 33539
Cell phone: 352-206-5787
Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgIf you like what I stand for, please go onto my facebook page and click like. If you are not registered on Facebook, you may have to register first before you can perform any activities. Don't let Facebook make you feel intimidated as many people feel that way until they get used to it. There are a lot of people on Facebook, but I have also talked to a lot of people that do no want anything to do with it and that's okay to.