DELEGATE LANDES ANNOUNCES GOALS FOR CLERK OF COURT OFFICE

"If elected on November 5th by the citizens of Augusta County as the 17th Clerk of Circuit Court it is my intention to pursue nine goals and investigate and implement these objectives if possible. These goals broadly will include: Innovating and Working for All the citizens of Augusta County, Preserving and Promoting the History of Augusta County, and Seeking Input and Advice from the citizens of Augusta County."

- Steve Landes

These detailed plans have been thoroughly considered and reviewed with parties familiar with the responsibilities of the Clerk of Court. Once elected, the following goals would continue to be investigated and implemented if possible after consultation with the staff of the Clerk of Circuit Court’s office.

Innovating and Working for All

  • Serve as a working Clerk of Circuit Court to carry out the more than 800 duties of the office as set out in the Code of Virginia. I pledge to serve all the citizens of Augusta County, and to accomplish this goal I would commit to analyzing each position and responsibility of each Staff member in the Clerk’s Office by shadowing each Staff position and seek Staff thoughts on what works and what does not in the first sixth months in office.
  • Investigate additional technology to assist the Clerk of Circuit Court’s Staff in providing additional service to the citizens of Augusta County, to provide more efficient and cost-effective service, and assist the Staff in reducing their workload with an ever-increasing population. In addition, I would pledge to continuously evaluate new technology to save staff time and thus taxpayers’ funds. 
  • Investigate the possibility of offering U.S. Passports in the office and review the workload and cost of providing this service to the citizens of Augusta County, which was discontinued in 2017. 
  • Investigate the possibility of offering plastic card versions of the Concealed Weapons Permits issued and processed by the Augusta County Circuit Court and review the workload and cost of providing this as a service to the citizens of Augusta County.

Preserving and Promoting History

  • Continue to obtain grants through the Library of Virginia and elsewhere to preserve the Historic Records of Augusta County dating back to 1745. In addition, to make them more accessible to the citizens of Augusta County and others in the Augusta County Courthouse and investigate possible additional venues to securely display significant documents in partnership with both the Augusta County Historical Society’s Smith Center, and the Frontier Culture Museum of Virginia proposed Crossing Gallery exhibit space. 
  • Work with local schools to provide educational opportunities to Augusta County students and teachers regarding the Clerk’s Office responsibilities, and Augusta County history. 
  • Continue to obtain grants through the Library of Virginia and continue to digitize the Historic Records of Augusta County dating back to 1745 to make them available electronically to the citizens of Augusta County. 

Seeking Input and Advice

  • Create an Augusta County Clerk of Circuit Court Advisory Committee. The individuals to serve would be citizens of Augusta County, and at least two each would be selected from the Augusta County Bar Association, Greater Augusta Association of Realtors, Augusta County Historical Society, and Augusta County Genealogical Society. The purpose of the Committee would be to provide advice to the Clerk of Circuit Court on various issues pertaining to the office.
  • Attend and speak to Augusta County civic clubs and organizations about the Augusta County Circuit Court Clerk Office’s services, and on the Historic Records of Augusta County. Seek advice and input from those club and organization members related to duties performed by the Clerk of Circuit Court.

AUGUSTA COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT CLERK ISSUES FIRST ANNUAL REPORT

Augusta County Circuit Court Clerk’s Report

For Calendar Year 2020

     On November 18, 2019, it was my honor to be sworn in as the 17th Clerk of Circuit Court for Augusta County. It is my goal that each year which I serve as Augusta County’s Clerk of Court that I will report on the activities of this Office to the Augusta County Board of Supervisors and the Citizens of Augusta County. During the campaign for office I set out several goals in three main categories: Innovating and Working for All, Preserving and Promoting History, and Seeking Input and Advice. I am happy to report much progress has already been made on each category.

     Let me expand on the progress that was made related to the three main goals outlined above. In the area of Innovating and Working for All, several technological advances have been accomplished during this past year. The first project was to upgrade and replace the recording equipment used in the courtrooms so the Clerk’s Office and staff can provide accurate records of court proceedings. For the Large Courtroom a new Polycom Video Conference System was installed with the assistance of the Supreme Court of Virginia video engineering, and Augusta County information technology staffs. This system allows court participants to participate remotely if necessary. In December we also received a new larger flat screen television, and stand for the Large Courtroom, and were able to upgrade the audio system for the courtroom as well. These purchases were made with the help of Augusta County through the CARES Act funds received due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

     In February during a Clerk’s Staff Workday, we located and identified old and used computer and technology equipment that had been purchased for the Clerk’s Office through the Supreme Court of Virginia, Logan Systems, Inc. (our land record vendor) and Augusta County. The old equipment that was no longer being utilized was returned to the various agencies from who it was obtained. In April, we replaced a Supreme Court back-up tape drive with a StoreOnce Cube making it possible for staff to no longer load and unload back-up tapes. The Supreme Court of Virginia replaced nine desk top computers in June, and Logan replaced or updated monitors, label printers and systems as needed. In July, work was begun on the installation of a new secure server rack and wiring and cable clean-up by the Supreme Court and Logan technicians. This extensive project was completed in October. The Augusta County Information Technology Department also pulled old hard drives from old computers to be securely stored in case information is needed in the future.

     The office also worked with Logan Systems (our land record vendor) technicians to upgrade and replace our oversized plat scanner, which was installed in May. The old oversized plat scanner could not be repaired and had to be replaced. In addition to handling land record oversized plats the scanner can also be used to scan other large documents such as historic records. The Logan technicians will also be installing a digital flat scanner so that after conservation work is completed on historic records they can be scanned. Eventually in addition to saving these scanned historic records on compact discs we hope to have them available on the Circuit Court Clerk Webpage.

     The Augusta County Website Circuit Court Clerk Webpage has been extensively updated throughout the year starting in December to make it easier for citizens to access information and go online for various services provided by the Clerk’s Office. Both Jackie Zetwick, Augusta County Director of Information Technology, and Mia Kivilghan, Augusta County Communications Manager, assisted with the many updates, and additions. We also updated all information on the Virginia Court System Website for the Augusta County Circuit Court.

     As a newly elected Circuit Court Clerk, I attended several meetings. In December I attended the State Compensation Board New Officer Training in Richmond for two days to better understand my new responsibilities. In January I attended the State Compensation Board COIN System training in Dublin. In February I attended the two-day Supreme Court of Virginia New Clerk Orientation, and I also met with the Historic Records Staff at the Library of Virginia during that time.

     To better learn the functions of the Clerk’s Office and each of the five divisions within the Clerk’s Office I have shadowed each division, but some were delayed due to the COVID-19 Pandemic so my original goal of the first six months in office was not completed. My first effort in December and January was to shadow and work closely with the Accounting Division staff to learn the Virginia Supreme Court’s Financial Accounting System, State Compensation COIN system, and Augusta County Budget process. Then in July and August I shadowed the Probate, Civil, Land Record, and Criminal Divisions. In September I shadowed our Front Desk Staff as well.

     In June and July, the Clerk’s staff and I completed the Supreme Court of Virginia Augusta County Circuit Court Management Analysis Survey. The survey and analysis were reviewed, by Norma Gates, Supreme Court of Virginia Circuit Court Manager, who offered suggestions and ideas to better improve office functions and services to citizens. Overall, the Clerk’s Office received high marks. We hope to complete similar analysis every two years. In July the Auditor of Public Accounts completed the first State Audit during my tenure as Clerk. The Clerk’s Office received a clean audit.

     Research and visits to both the Rockingham County and Staunton City Circuit Court Clerk’s Office was begun on the cost and use of plastic card printers for Concealed Handgun Permit (CHP) Cards issued by Clerk’s Offices. We are hoping to decide during the first quarter of 2021 on the costs, and staff workload related to moving to a plastic card printer for CHPs. Research was also begun on the possibility of assisting citizens with United States Passports. After further research and a workload analysis for staff time, it is hoped that a decision can be made on if to once again provide that service before the end of 2021.

     In the area of Preserving and Promoting History much has been accomplished in 2020 as well. To begin the process of working with partners in preserving and promoting Augusta County’s history I met with leaders from the Augusta County Historical Society and Augusta County Genealogical Society beginning in December. In addition to meeting with the Library of Virginia Historic Records Staff, I also met in February with C.W. Warthen Kofile Technologies representative, Greg Brooks, to discuss past conservation and preservation efforts for Augusta County’s Historic Records. In August candidates for the new part-time position of Historic Records Assistant were interviewed, and Matthew Wingfield was hired. Additional meetings with the Augusta County Historical Society, Augusta County Genealogical Society, and Library of Virginia were conducted with the Historic Records Assistant.

     In September the Augusta County Court House Historic Records Short & Long Term Plan was completed by the Historic Records Assistant and approved by me. Work was begun in September and completed in October on obtaining a Historic Designation Plaque for the Augusta County Court House, and donations were handled through the Augusta County Historical Society. The Augusta County Maintenance Staff mounted the plaque in December at the Back-Main Entrance of the courthouse. Work was completed during September and October and an application submitted to the Department of Historic Resources for a Virginia Historical Highway Marker for the Augusta County Court House, meeting the December 1 deadline for the Virginia Board of Historic Resources consideration during their March meeting.

     An approximately $10,000 Library of Virginia (LVA) Circuit Court Records Preservation (CCRP) Grant application was completed and submitted in September for four important historic documents, including: Will Book No. 3 (1761-1767); Deed Book 29 (1796-1798); Order Book 24 (1796-1799), Marriage Register Colored 1888-1910.  Four preserved historic documents were received from a previous LVA CCRP Grant from 2019 in November. Work has also begun on compiling and identifying an inventory of all of Augusta County’s Historic Records and Documents under the stewardship of the Augusta County Circuit Court Clerk’s Office, and an effort to collect and digitize these records so they can be made available on the Circuit Court Clerk Webpage.

     To promote a better understanding of the Augusta County Circuit Court Clerk’s Office a Clerk’s Internship Program was developed. The first college and high school interns were interviewed, and two students selected for the Fall Semester. Hannah Davis, a Junior at Mary Baldwin University, and Blake Rodgers, a Sophomore at Wilson Memorial High School, served as the very first Clerk’s Interns. Both interns have worked with the various divisions in the Clerk’s Office and the Clerk’s staff from August to December.

     For the goal of Seeking Input and Advice I believe the office has made great progress as well. The Augusta County Circuit Court Clerk’s Advisory Committee has been formed and conducted an organizational meeting in August at the Augusta County Court House. The Advisory Committee has not been able to meet as often as we had planned because of the COVID-19 Pandemic but hope to return to regular meetings during 2021.

     Membership on the Advisory Committee includes representation from the Augusta County Bar Association, Greater Augusta Regional Chamber of Commerce, Augusta County Historical Society, Augusta County Genealogical Society, Staunton-Augusta County African American Research Society, Frontier Culture Museum of Virginia, the Augusta County Board of Supervisors, the Augusta County School Board, and at-large Augusta County Citizens. Former Augusta County Circuit Court Clerk John Davis serves as the Advisory Committee’s Chairman.

     The Clerk’s Office has developed an updated presentation that can be made to various civic clubs and organizations related to the Clerk’s Office responsibilities, and the history of Augusta County and the Augusta County Court House. I have made one presentation to the Fort Harrison Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution along with Rockingham County Clerk of Circuit Court Chaz Haywood, and after the COVID-19 Pandemic subsides hope to be able to do more in the coming year.

     In addition, I have personally met with several individuals seeking input on the functions of the Augusta County Circuit Court Clerk’s Office. These include: Judge Chapman Goodwin, 25th Circuit Court Chief Judge; Rusty Sprouse, Augusta County Facilities Director; Timothy Martin, Augusta County Commonwealth’s Attorney; Donald Smith, Augusta County Sheriff; Christy Hostetter, 25th General District Court Clerk; Nancy Sorrells, President of the Augusta County Historical Society; Teresa Smith, 25th Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court Clerk; Tom Roberts, Former Staunton City Circuit Court Clerk: Staci Falls, Staunton City Circuit Court Clerk; Jean Shrewsbury, Augusta County Commissioner of the Revenue; Richard Homes, Augusta County Treasurer; Alan Garrison, Augusta County Commissioner of Accounts; Greg Crawford, Library of Virginia Historic Records Manager; Chaz Haywood, Rockingham County Circuit Court Clerk; Timothy Fitzgerald, Augusta County Administrator; Misty Cook, Augusta County Finance Director; Faith Duncan, Augusta County Human Resources Director; Mia Kivilghan, Augusta County Communications Manager; Jackie Zetwick, Augusta County Information Technology Director; Judge Paul Dryer, 25th Circuit Court Judge; Judge Anne Reed, 25th Circuit Court Judge; and Tony Davenport, Director District 12 Probation and Parole.

     Above and beyond meeting and working on the goals I set out last year both the Clerk’s Staff and I have worked to hone our skills and learn more about how our office can be more effective and efficient. To accomplish this all full-time staff are members of the Virginia Court Clerk’s Association (VCCA). Five Deputy Clerks have achieved the Master Deputy Clerk Certification, and one Deputy Clerk is currently enrolled to become a Master Deputy Clerk. All our remaining Deputy Clerks are also taking ongoing webinars and training as am I in the hopes of enrolling in the certification program administered by the VCCA when we can qualify. I was also selected to serve on the VCCA Legislative Committee and Public Relations Committee.

     In addition to hiring a part-time Historic Records Assistant, the Clerk’s Office also filled two vacant full-time positions and one new full-time position. Due to the reallocation of funding from the State Compensation Board and an increased workload, the position of Administrative Assistant was created. The position was advertised, candidates were interviewed, and Nancy Hevener was hired for the position. For the two vacant positions, one due to a staff retirement, and one due to a staff member leaving at the end of the year, the positions of Deputy Clerk for the Criminal Division, and Deputy Clerk and Land Recorder were advertised, and candidates interviewed. Christy Wiskeman was hired for the Criminal Division, and Lisa Eye was hired for as the new Land Recorder. All three new staff members started in February. Faith Duncan, Augusta County Director of Human Resources, was extremely helpful during the entire process.

     To better communicate the work of the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office we have issued 15 press releases on various topic and issues of interest to the citizens of Augusta County. These have also been posted on social media, and on my personal website for review as well. In addition, I have sent out 12 editions of Landes Letters Newsletters via email, and social media as well on the Clerk’s Office activities. To better organize the Clerk’s Office, we have removed and destroyed records that were not necessary to keep, and better organized and secured the files we must keep. Working with the Augusta County Maintenance Staff we have better utilized our courthouse space and made repairs and maintenance of the building a priority. The County Maintenance Staff has also produced updated signage in the building to better assist the public in finding various offices and divisions of the Clerk’s Office.

     It is my hope that you have found this first Augusta County Circuit Court Clerk’s Report for 2020 of interest, and helpful. If you have any questions regarding this information, or the duties and responsibilities of the Circuit Court Clerk, please feel free to contact me at the Augusta County Court House at 540-245-5321, Ext. 100 or email me at [email protected]. Thank you for your interest in and support of the Augusta County Circuit Court Clerk’s Office. 

AUGUSTA COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT CLERK ISSUES SECOND ANNUAL REPORT

Augusta County Circuit Court Clerk’s Report

For Calendar Year 2021

     On November 18, 2019, it was my honor to be sworn in as the 17th Clerk of Circuit Court for Augusta County, and I am now entering my third calendar year as Clerk. Each year I will continue to report on the activities of this Office to the Augusta County Board of Supervisors and the Citizens of Augusta County. During the campaign I set out several goals in three main categories: Innovating and Working for All, Preserving and Promoting History, and Seeking Input and Advice. I am happy to report again this year that much progress has been made in each category.

     This report will once again detail the progress that was made related to the three main goals outlined above. In the area of Innovating and Working for All, several technological and office organization advances were accomplished in 2021. During the first half of the year the Clerk’s staff worked with the Augusta County Maintenance staff, Advanced Telephone & Data staff, Supreme Court of Virginia (SCV) Department of Judicial Information Technology Field Services staff, and Logan Systems, Inc. (our land record vendor) staff to complete several offices moves for the Court Division, Criminal Division and Land Record Division. In addition to moving several Divisions into new separate offices, donated cubicles were installed in the Record Room to allow for better workstations for the Land Records Division, Probate Division Assistant, and Information Desk staff. This was a major project and resulted in many meetings before the moves were completed and finalized on May 11 and 12.

     In February a SCV Field Services Technician completed the final installation of the secure server rack in the basement. In May a Logan Systems Technician installed new and upgraded land record servers in the secure server rack. Also, in May Spectrum Integrators (our courtroom audio vendor) installed a new microphone for the Judge’s bench in Courtroom A. In June a SCV Field Services Technician installed and updated four staff computers, three scanners and two printers to replace old equipment.

     In July Advanced Telephone & Data staff pulled new network cables, and a SCV Field Service Technician installed a new Elavon Credit Card Machine in the Record Room, and the old Elavon machine was moved to the Accounting Division. The new machine allows staff to take both debit and credit cards. In August the Augusta County Information Technology staff installed a Wi-Fi splitter in Courtroom A so one large screen monitor can be used for displaying evidence with a laptop connection at the counsel tables.

     In September a Logan Systems Technician installed a new back-up universal power supply for our land record servers. In December a SCV Field Services Technician installed and updated seven printers and four scanners to replace old equipment. Also, in December a Logan Systems Technician updated our public access land record computers and moved three public use land record printers for easier access for the public. 

     The Augusta County Website was updated this year, and the Clerk’s Office formed a Clerk’s Office Webpage Committee, after an initial meeting I attended in March, to assist with updates and to learn more about the changes being made. The Circuit Court Clerk Webpage was reviewed and updated as necessary for the release of the new Website. Mia Kivilghan, Augusta County Communications Manager, met in June with our Webpage Committee, and assisted with the Circuit Court Clerk Webpage update. We also continued to update information on the Virginia Court System Website for the Augusta County Circuit Court as needed.

     Research continued related to the cost and use of plastic card printers for Concealed Handgun Permit (CHP) Cards issued by the Clerk’s Offices. I had a follow up meeting and visit with the Rockingham County Clerk’s Office to see the process they use with their CHP card printer. We have made the decision to purchase a CHP plastic card printer during the first quarter of 2022 and will be working with staff to implement this change for our citizens. After our initial research we have decided to put on hold offering United States Passports until additional staff can be obtained to provide this service.  

     In the area of Preserving and Promoting History we accomplished much in 2021. We continue to work with partners from the Augusta County Historical Society and Augusta County Genealogical Society in preserving and promoting Augusta County’s history. We continue to work with the Library of Virginia (LVA) Historic Records Staff, and with C.W. Warthen Kofile Technologies representative, Greg Brooks, to conserve and preserve Augusta County’s Historic Records. A new digital online historic record archive portal for Augusta County’s Historic Records was also developed and implemented by Matthew Wingfield, our Historic Records Assistant, at the beginning of 2021 making it easier for the public and researchers to access historic records. 

     In January we signed an agreement with the Community Foundation of the Central Blue Ridge to administer the newly created Augusta County Court House Historic Records Fund. Seven donations were made to the fund in honor of the late John B. Davis, former Augusta County Circuit Court Clerk. The Daughters of the American Colonists Great Warriors Path Chapter also made a $100 donation. The most significant donation was made by the Augusta County Genealogical Society for $3,416 to restore early African American Voter Registration Books. The Historic Records Fund ended the year with a total of $4,786 in donations for 2021.

     In March the application previously submitted to the Department of Historic Resources for a Virginia Historical Highway Marker for the Augusta County Courthouse, was approved by the Virginia Board of Historic Resources. Approximately $2,000 in private donations were collected to erect the marker with contributions being made to the Augusta County Historical Society. The Augusta County Maintenance staff installed the pole and marker in June, and a dedication and unveiling ceremony was conducted in July with Chief Circuit Court Judge Chapman Goodwin and Augusta County Board of Supervisors Vice Chairman Butch Wells making remarks.

     In August we developed a program and began to recruit Historic Records Volunteers to assist with the conservation and preservation of Augusta County’s Historic Records. Our Historic Records Assistant trained and supervised the work of the Historic Records Volunteers. Six volunteers contributed 263 hours during 2021. The Historic Records Volunteers are flattening and digitizing historic documents that are then uploaded to the online archive portal. The volunteers are also compiling, identifying, and completing an inventory of all of Augusta County’s Historic Records and documents under the stewardship of the Augusta County Circuit Court Clerk’s Office.

     A $48,682 LVA Circuit Court Records Preservation (CCRP) Grant application was submitted, and then awarded in December for eight important historic documents, including: Deed Book 6 (1745-1747), Order Book 17 (1779-1782), Register of Deaths (1871-1893), Will Book 16 (1827-1829), Will Book 19 (1833-1835), Will Book 21 (1835-1837), and Will Book 22 (1837-1839).  Four preserved historic documents were received from a previous LVA CCRP Grant from 2020 in August, these restored documents were as result of work completed due to a $12,598 grant. During my term as Clerk of Circuit Court we have received a total of $74,849 in grant funding.

     To promote a better understanding of the Augusta County Circuit Court Clerk’s Office the Clerk’s Internship Program continued once again this year. We have now had eight students participate in our program through the end of 2021. The Clerk’s Interns were Hannah Davis, Mary Baldwin University; Blake Rodgers, Wilson Memorial High School; Culley Hess, James Madison University; Avery Morrison, Stuart Hall School; Ramona Shelton, College of William & Mary; Ben Allen, Stuarts Draft High School; Adryanna Reyes, Mary Baldwin University, and Dagon Wheeler, Fort Defiance High School.

     For the goal of Seeking Input and Advice our office continues to make great progress. The Augusta County Circuit Court Clerk’s Advisory Committee was formed in 2020 and continued to meet quarterly this year. The Advisory Committee met in April, July, and October. Membership on the Advisory Committee continues to include representation from the Augusta County Bar Association, Greater Augusta Regional Chamber of Commerce, Augusta County Historical Society, Augusta County Genealogical Society, Staunton-Augusta County African American Research Society, Frontier Culture Museum of Virginia, the Augusta County Board of Supervisors, the Augusta County School Board, and at-large Augusta County Citizens.

     I attended six meetings with my fellow Clerks of Circuit Court for the Virginia Court Clerk’s Association (VCCA), including the 111th Annual Convention in Charlottesville in August. In 2021 I was selected to serve as one of three Co-Chairmen of the VCCA Legislative Committee, and as a Member of the Public Relations Committee. In addition, I also attended seven meetings and events of the Greater Augusta Regional Chamber of Commerce (GARCC) and served as the Moderator of the GARCC Legislative Breakfast in December. It was my honor to serve as the virtual Commencement Speaker for Blue Ridge Community College Ceremony in May.

     The Clerk’s Office developed a Power Point Presentation on the “Augusta County Circuit Court History & Operations” that was presented to six civic clubs and organizations. The groups included the Augusta County Genealogical Society, Churchville Ruritan Club, Staunton-Augusta County Rotary Club, Conservative Women of Augusta County, Daughters of the American Colonists Great Warriors Path Chapter, and Daughters of the American Revolution Sarah Murray Chapter.

     Above and beyond meeting and working on the goals I set as Clerk, both the Clerk’s staff and I have worked to sharpen our skills and learn more about how our office can be more effective and efficient. To accomplish this all full-time staff are members of the VCCA. Becky Kimble, Deputy Clerk in our Probate Division, achieved the Master Deputy Clerk Certification this year bringing our total to six Deputy Clerks who have achieved that status. Three Deputy Clerks enrolled in 2021 to become a Master Deputy Clerk. All our remaining Deputy Clerks continue to take ongoing webinars and training. This year I completed and participated in 17 Webinars and WebEx meetings for training, and each staff member completed that many or more.

     Fifteen staff evaluation meetings were conducted in February to review each staff members work progress for the year, and to review and set annual goals. In addition, our office had five Clerk’s Staff Meetings, and we are now having these meetings quarterly. I presented certificates, and we recognized Gina Coffey for 30 years of service, Suzanne Shifflett for 10 years of service, and Julie Sheffer for 10 years of service to Augusta County’s citizens. Beginning in April, and each month after, we began recognizing staff suggestions and ideas that help improve the work we do with the Clerk’s Light Bulb Award. Nine Clerk’s Light Bulb Award Certificates were presented in 2021. Clerk’s staff members also volunteered at the Augusta County Booth at the Augusta County Fair in July. The Clerk’s staff also raised and donated over $1,500 to charities in 2021. Each staff member who participated donated each week so they could then dress casually each Friday.

     In September Gina Coffey was appointed as the Chief Deputy Clerk in the Augusta County Circuit Court Clerk’s Office. The Clerk’s Office also filled one vacant full-time position and one new part-time position. The position of Deputy Clerk – Probate Assistant was advertised, candidates were interviewed, and Hunter Hopkins was hired for the position. The new part-time position of Records Assistant (which replaced the part-time Administrative Assistant position) was advertised, candidates were interviewed, and Pamela Heinrich was hired. Both new staff members will start in January of 2022. Faith Duncan, Augusta County Director of Human Resources, was once again extremely helpful during the entire process.

     To continue to communicate the work of the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office we issued 19 press releases on various topic and issues of interest to the citizens of Augusta County. These also continue to be posted on social media, and on my personal website for review as well. In addition, I have sent out 12 editions of Landes Letter Newsletters via email, and social media about the Clerk’s Office activities. During 2021 I administered Oaths 32 times, including individuals such as Substitute Judges in the 25th Judicial District, Augusta County Sheriff’s Deputies, Middle River Regional Jail Jailers, Augusta County Fire-Rescue Fire Fighters, Rockingham County Fire-Rescue Fire Fighters, and appointed and elected local officials such as recently elected and re-elected members of the Augusta County Board of Supervisors and Augusta County School Board.

     Our Office continues to work with the Augusta County Maintenance staff to better utilized our Courthouse space and continued to make repairs and maintenance of the building a priority. Much work was completed on the Courthouse lawn and areas on the outside of the Courthouse. The County Maintenance staff has also continued to produced signage in the building as needed to better assist the public in finding various divisions of the Clerk’s Office, and the public men’s and women’s restrooms in the basement. Rusty Sprouse, Augusta County Director of Facility Maintenance, and his staff continue to be a great help in accomplishing necessary work at the Courthouse.

     To honor the memory of former Augusta County Circuit Court Clerk John B. Davis, the Clerk’s staff collected funds to purchase a bench with a plaque, which the Augusta County Maintenance staff mounted on the front portico of the Courthouse. A ceremony was conducted in September to dedicate the bench, and present Memorial Resolutions from the VCCA and the Virginia General Assembly to Mrs. Patrice Davis and their sons, Joe, and Andrew. Delegate Chris Runion participated in the ceremony, along with many current and former Clerks of Circuit Court from across Virginia, and Augusta County officials.

     It is my hope that you have found this second Augusta County Circuit Court Clerk’s Report for 2021 of interest, and helpful. If you have any questions regarding this information, or the duties and responsibilities of the Circuit Court Clerk, please feel free to contact me at the Augusta County Court House at 540-245-5321, Ext. 100 or email me at [email protected]. Thank you for your interest in and support of the Augusta County Circuit Court Clerk’s Office.  

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