Elaine Johnson has served as clerk of the Richmond County Superior Court for more than 19 years, and has worked in the clerk’s office for almost 40 years. Elaine has the type of experience that we, as citizens, should seek out when deciding whom to elect in the July 31 primary.
After practicing law in Atlanta for the past five years and recently moving my legal practice back to Augusta, I have had the unique opportunity to work closely with many superior court clerks’ offices statewide. The Richmond County Superior Court clerk’s office, under Elaine, ranks at the top of my list for innovative, efficient and courteous service.
Many clerks’ offices are the equivalent of the states’ departments of motor vehicles, and quickly recognized by all frequent users as a prime example of government inefficiency and waste, with employees who refuse to take ownership of problems. However, Elaine has taken the initiative to require excellence in her office through computer-age resources, such as electronic or “online” dockets, and the retention of many fine employees who strive to ensure that real-estate and court records are accurately reflected, and that any issues are promptly resolved.
When it is “quitting time,” Elaine does not view her day as being complete, and is routinely involved in helping citizens. I personally experienced her kindness as a college student in the 1990s when I was assigned a paper on “elected officials” by my political science professor. When I approached her for an interview, Elaine quickly indicated that she was willing to participate. Elaine could have routed me to one of her employees to answer my questions with a canned statement, but that is simply not Elaine’s style. Elaine set aside time out of her busy day to candidly answer every in-depth question I had.
It is with that touch of class that Elaine has led our clerk’s office for many years, and it is that willingness to assist others that we should strive to re-elect.