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Clerk In The Spotlight - Clay

Clerk in the Spotlight

10 QUESTIONS WITH

Clay County CLERK Tara S. Green

 

1. What was your previous profession?

Served as Vice-President of Organizational Development for Alltel Wireless, Inc., located in Little Rock, Arkansas.


2. Why did you decide to run for Clerk?

After taking a break from the professional world for six years to focus on raising my three children, I was ready to go back to work and start another professional chapter in my life. The current Clerk of Clay County was not seeking re-election and, therefore, the seat was open. My mother, Doris Stotler, had been the Chief Deputy of the office for 14 years and I had become somewhat intimate with the inner workings of the office due to her involvement. Several individuals approached me and encouraged me to run for office and apply my many years of experience in the private sector to that of the public sector.

 

 3. What would you be doing if you were not Clerk?

I considered opening my own consulting business or boutique shop prior to running for office. Regardless, I would definitely be working in some capacity.


4. What is your philosophy in running your office?
I have very simple philosophies in my office. We are public servants and our job is to assist the public and any other users of our office in the most polite, professional and effective way possible.


5. What has been your proudest moment as Clerk?

I have two moments: 1) Being elected as the Clerk, as I had no political background within the county and simply ran on my professional merits and goals that I wanted to accomplish within the office. I am also the first female in the history of Clay County to be elected Clerk; 2) Being chosen as Clerk of the Year in 2015 was as much of a surprise as it was an honor. I am fortunate to work along with some of the most innovative and committed Clerks across the state, as well as having a devoted and supportive staff that allows me to participate in a variety of capacities both locally and statewide.


6. How do you see the Clerk’s office evolving in the next five years?

I am very focused on continuing to better our services to the public and finding innovative ways to serve them.


7. What activities have you or your office been involved with to serve your community?
I’m proud to say that my office as a whole is very committed to serving our community. During my first term of office, our employees have donated more than $17,000 to Making Strides Against Breast Cancer and participated in the annual walk each year. We have provided more than 300 items to the Bright Minds Youth Development, Inc. summer camps, hosted food drives for our local food bank and partnered with our local chapter of the American Red Cross to participate in the Holiday Mail for Heroes campaign. In addition, we partner with Guardian ad Litem each year to provide Christmas gifts to needy families.

8. How do you recognize your staff and their achievements?
Almost immediately after taking office in 2013, I implemented an Employee Recognition and Appreciation Program. This includes “Clerks Perks” and Employee of the Month. “Clerks Perks” is a reward program for all employees when someone from the public recognizes them for their outstanding service. Employee of the Month is a peer-driven program in which we take feedback from employees, management and the public to recognize one individual each month for their outstanding attitude and performance.


9. Name an individual that has made an impact on your life? Why?
While working at Alltel, Inc., I was fortunate enough to have a mentor, the current CEO of Allied Wireless Frank O’Mara, who recognized my leadership skills and taught me how to trust myself as a leader and speak up to share my ideas. Early on in my career with Alltel, he took me under his wing and taught me many business and leadership skills that I apply in my office today. One of the biggest lessons I remember was that sometimes we have to fail before we can succeed and we cannot use the fear of failure as an excuse to not move forward.

10. What knowledge base or skill has prepared you best for serving as Clerk?
I believe that my previous experience in overseeing 200+ professional employees in an organization that included a very sophisticated operational and financial model has been critical to my role as Clerk.

 


 

Clay Clerk Tara Green leads Operation Green Light efforts, helping Florida’s Clerks collect more than $5.4 Million in Past Due Traffic Fines & Fees 

 

 

Clay County Clerk's office employees participated in Operation Green Light to help citizens save up to 40 percent in collection agency fees.


The Honorable Tara S. Green, Clay County Clerk of Court, has quickly made an impact in Clay County and the state of Florida during her first term in office.

 

Clerk Green’s focus on providing exceptional services to the public is evident in almost anything she does in her role as Clerk. This took center stage in 2015 when she was appointed chair of the Clerks’ statewide initiative, Operation Green Light, which allowed citizens to save up to 40 percent in collection agency fees on outstanding fees and fines for traffic violations and criminal cases.

 

"I felt strongly that Operation Green Light should be geared toward public service, even opening office doors on Saturday for general convenience,” Clerk Green said. “I believed Florida courts needed to proactively work together to get residents back on the road and on the right track."

 

This effort also came with results, as the Clerks collected $5.4 million through Operation Green Light. The event also resulted in nearly 10,000 driver licenses being made eligible for reinstatement, and nearly 27,000 outstanding cases were settled by Clerks.

 

The $5.4 million in collections also resulted in the state receiving $2.1 million, local governments receiving $1.7 million and Florida’s Clerks of Court receiving $1.6 million.

 

"Clerk Green has worked tirelessly to improve the lives of Clay County residents and citizens throughout Florida through innovative use of technologies and customer focused initiatives,” said former Florida Court Clerks & Comptrollers President Joe Smith, who serves St. Lucie County Clerk of Court. “Tara exemplifies the best and brightest talent we have among Clerks throughout the state and her office serves as a leader for many of us. It has been a true pleasure serving alongside her."

 

Clerk Green worked with the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to determine that more than a million Floridians have a suspended license. 

 

“It is a priority of the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to help unlicensed drivers to become compliant with the law,” said DHSMV Executive Director Terry L. Rhodes. “Ensuring that motorists are legally able to drive on our highways supports our state’s economic health and strengthens Florida families.”   

 

For her efforts, Clerk Green was also selected as the Florida Court Clerks & Comptrollers’ Clerk of the Year in 2015 for leading the Operation Green Light initiative.

 

“Operation Green Light was an innovative approach to generate additional revenue for the people of Florida while also helping some citizens get back on their feet and reengage as strong contributors to our economy,” said Clerk Smith. “The event saved citizens approximately $2 million, but more importantly, its residual effects will continue to help our state by getting people back on the road to literally drive to and from work and school and, figuratively, drive our state forward.”

 

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