Election 2012: Kane County Circuit Clerk
Challengers vie for KC Circuit Clerk Office
Both Ed Nendick and Thomas Hartwell seek to bring greater efficiency standards to the office of Kane County Circuit Clerk.
Ed Nendick is looking to use his experience from serving 24 years as a veteran in both the U.S. Navy and Air Force, as well as his time spent as Vice President of Sales and Administration in his company, O’Connor & Nendick Inc., in the role of Kane County Clerk of the Circuit Court.
He plans to apply that experience to improving the office and how it functions.
“I have served my country. I have raised my children. I have built my business and put plans in place to keep it going until I return,” Nendick said. “I see the opportunity to turn this governmental body around to a lean, high quality,efficient unit that cooperates with the other four Clerk of the Circuit Courts offices in this state. Together we can accomplish what individually we cannot.”
The spirit of togetherness is vital to his plans, he said. While listing his top three priorities, he noted that his third priority could actually double as his number-one priority.
“Third, and maybe first, would be to bring a spirit of cooperation and integrity to the office through outstanding leadership, example and a hands-on approach,” Nendick said.
Building on that spirit of cooperation, Nendick would work to integrate the computer program developed at the Clerk of DuPage County Office.
“I would request the Clerk of DuPage County share the program that they developed on Illinois government time using Illinois government money. Local citizens of Illinois paid the computer programmer wages in DuPage County. Credit goes to their brilliance in developing a program that works so well when others have stumbled,” he said.
From that point, Nendick wants to conduct a thorough audit of all systems and programs that exist in the office. He would establish clear personnel goals and training standards, redevelop job descriptions and clearly articulate personnel expectations.
Nendick said that all specific plans will flow from the audit process, as that will determine the areas that need improvement, thereby creating both short- and long-term goals. From there, he said, it is all about leadership.
“Leadership requires good communication. I plan to have great communication with my employees; I believe in an open door policy and am open to all suggestions and possible ways to improve the system I would like to implement,” Nendick said.
Tom Hartwell said that after 27 years as an attorney, regularly interacting with the Circuit Clerk’s Office, in addition to his time serving on the Kane County Board, he knows what it takes to make the office run more efficiently and effectively.
“My 27 years (of) experience as an attorney using the Circuit Clerk’s Office in Kane and other counties (as well as federal courts), give me a unique understanding of what excellent service means,” Hartwell said. “My service as a member of the Kane County Board has given me insight regarding the budget process and promoting cooperation and communication.”
Because the nature of the office is largely managerial, Hartwell said he has learned through his past experiences how to organize an office such as that of the Kane County Circuit Clerk.
“I am an attorney with an MBA. I served on the Kane County Board from 1996 to 2000. I have personal experience using the circuit clerk’s office. I have management experience. I have government experience,” Hartwell said. “While experience often dictates what we do, leadership allows us to do it. I have both the experience and leadership qualities to manage the circuit clerk’s office in an efficient and effective manner.”
He said he would use that range of experience and knowledge to streamilne the office, focusing his efforts on reducing waste and inefficient practices. He would connect those efforts to increasing transparency within the department, as well.
Financial efficiency goes hand-in-hand with transparency and accountability,” he said. “Given the changes that will occur with the upcoming election, this is one of our best opportunities to improve the relationship between elected officials.”
Better communication, increased effiencies and reduced waste will translate into the ability for the office’s employees to take on other additional responsibilities.
“(This will) create an create an atmosphere organized around timely and cost-efficient customer service,” he said.
Overall, service is Hartwell’s goal, and all other efforts would be designed to increase and improve services to the public.
“My goal as the circuit clerk is to serve the citizens of Kane County in a timely, efficient and ethical manner,” Hartwell said. “As an outsider, I bring a fresh prospective to the office not being entangled by policies of the past. It is important that the Circuit Clerk’s Office is well run and cost effective. Government must operate with its means.”