By ALLEN RAU
After spending 19 years as a Washington County Jail Administrator, circuit court clerk candidate Brenda Downes said the experience makes her more than qualified for the position.
She began her career at the Washington County Sherriff’s Office after graduating from East Tennessee State University in 1993.
“I started as a jailer when the jail was located in downtown Jonesborough … I moved up quickly in rank and was promoted to the jail administrator of the Washington County Detention Center in 1999,” Downes said.
According to the candidate, her management experience makes her an ideal candidate.
“I’m looking for the opportunity to move to another office. I enjoy management; I have strived on working with and for the public over the past 24 years. I believe I am the candidate best qualified with my 19 years of county government management experience.”
Downes was born in New Jersey, raised in Roanoke, Virginia and moved to East Tennessee to attend ETSU, where she received her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.
Downes believes her experience in county government will yield benefits for the clerk’s office.
“I have a proven record of leadership with positive results, and I believe that my knowledge of the entire system, not just one office, I can bring that same positive result to the Circuit Court Clerk’s office.”
She also said that utilizing technology would help those interacting with the clerk’s office.
“I will keep moving the office in a forward direction to better serve the citizens of Washington County. For example, I plan to modernize the office with electronic filing, updating the website and the implementation of passports.
“There’s a circuit court clerk who does passports in their office and I don’t know about you but if you’ve ever had to get a passport you know it can be difficult. So imagine the convenience of going to the circuit court clerk for a way to get your passport with little frustration.”
Downes said that people don’t always need the help of county officials, but when they do they should receive good service.
“Concern and responsiveness are the attributes they expect and rightfully so. As circuit court clerk, I will make sure everyone is treated equally fairly and with thoughtfulness.
“I have had the privilege in my working relationships and interaction with the citizens of Washington County; working with seven judges, the District Attorney’s office, the public defenders, numerous defense attorneys, all law enforcement agencies and the clerks.
“And I will continue this relationship and listen to the concerns or praises of the current office.”