Russell County Circuit Clerk: Cade, Sellers

Marcia Cade challenges interim for clerk office

By Blenda Copeland

Marcia Cade is ready to serve as Russell County’s new Circuit Court Clerk.

Cade is one of two Democratic candidates vying for the position left open by the recent retirement of former Russell County Circuit Court Clerk Kathy Coulter.

This office deals extensively with numerous areas, including but not limited to circuit and district judges; the District Attorney’s office, absentee voting and more.

This is Cade’s first time running for a political office.

She is a lifelong resident of Russell County. Cade has two sons and lives in Phenix City.

As for her qualifications, she graduated from Russell County High School, later received her Associate’s degree in office management from Chattahoochee Valley Community College, and then her Bachelor’s degree in business management from Troy University. She currently is completing her Master’s degree at Troy University in Human Resources management.

Cade currently works in the Russell County Commission Office in the Human Resources Department as a payroll clerk and Human Resources Assistant. She has served in that position for more than two years. She has more than 24 years’ experience working in both the public and private sectors. Her background includes having worked in the areas of Human Resources, payroll, banking and loan processing, accounting, medical claims processing, customer service and administrative work. She also is a licensed realtor (currently inactive).

Cade said she decided to run for Circuit Clerk because she’s heard concerns from citizens as she has worked in her current position as a county employee, and would love to help.

“I thought it was a great opportunity to try and make improvements and to serve the community in a greater capacity than what I’m already doing right now,” she said.

Cade feels her knowledge, skill set and other qualities qualify her well for this office and will allow her to bring a fresh, new perspective to the office of Circuit Clerk.

Regarding concerns she’s heard from citizens, Cade said if elected, she’d like to improve the office’s processing of information to make it available to the public and to the legal community in a more timely and more efficient manner.

She’d also like to enhance the office’s effective communication and implement cross-training and skill-building to increase the office’s efficiency. She believes this will deliver positive results- in meeting goals and completing job duties.

Cade also said she’s aware of many calls regarding passports, which are no longer issued through the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office (they were in the past, she said). Currently, she said Russell County citizens must go to either Lee County, Ala., or Muscogee County, Ga., to get their passports – something she’d like to look at changing, if elected.

She has other ideas she’d like to implement if elected. Cade would like to see college students entering law or business to have the opportunity to intern in the Circuit Clerk’s Office and also to give high school seniors the opportunity to volunteer in the office as a way to gain work experience and skills.

Further, Cade would love to see the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office remain open to serve the public during standard work hours, whereas it has in the past been closed during certain blocks of time on Wednesdays, for example. This is an example of how Cade believes a more efficiently trained staff will be of great benefit in increasing its services and availability to the public. She pointed to the workload she handles in her current office as an example of her efficiency: She handled human resources and payroll matters, “And I still answered those phones,” she said, when people called with various inquiries. “Like I say, you manage,” she said of working efficiently.

Cade is confident in her ability to serve as Circuit Clerk, pointing to her leadership and strong work ethic as well as proven reputation for “integrity, honesty, dependability and accountability.”




 

Jody Sellers vying to turn ‘acting’ title to ‘clerk’

By Denise DuBois 

Jody Sellers is one of two Democratic candidates vying for the Russell County Circuit Clerk seat. Sellers is the current acting Russell County Circuit Clerk. She was appointed after Kathy Coulter retired last year. Sellers has been in the seat since February.

Sellers graduated from Lee Scott Academy in 1985 and just four years later began working in the Russell County Circuit Clerk’s office.

“I started in the low entry level,” Sellers said. But over the last 28 years, she has moved through the office and has been in the criminal division for 17 years. She continues to do that job while acting as the clerk.

“I do know that experience matters,” she said. “I don’t believe you can come in from off the street and know anything about the office. It’s fine and well to say you can do things, but to get in and actually see what each division is supposed to do and how it’s supposed to operate – you have to know the workings of it and what you can and cannot do. We’re bound by law with what we can do. We get new laws in all the time. Experience – I think that’s the biggest thing.”

When the time came for someone to fill the clerk’s role, Sellers originally thought it wasn’t going to be her.

“Then I began to think about it,” she said. “I know the job and it would be great for the community to have what they’ve always had with the two previous clerks. I know how the office operates and I’m not ready to retire. I might as well do something I know and enjoy doing.

“I’ve had a lot of training over the years and learned a lot from the previous clerk and other employees. The judges have been great and they’ve helped me.”

The Circuit Clerk is tasked with striking juries, issuing warrants, criminal and civil court, family court and more. Sellers said she’s watched the systems go from carbon and typewriters to personal computers and going paperless. A few big things she’s seen changed and has helped to change are providing certified copies of divorces automatically, getting through the first stages of approval to have passports completed in the office and eventually being open more often.

Sellers is endorsed by the local Fraternal Order of Police.

She has two adult children and a grandchild. She has also had custody for six years of her niece and nephew, who are eight and nine years old, respectively. Together, they attend Concord Baptist Church, the church she grew up in. She volunteers with the Boy Scouts. She is a Cub Master with a pack in Smiths Station. She has in the past been involved in the Troops as well. Her son is an Eagle Scout and she hopes her nephew will one day earn his Eagle Scout rank.