Eggleston says efficiency needed in Circuit Court Clerk office

By Julie Fann
Star Staff
jfann@starhq.com

  
Tammy Eggleston believes her 10-year experience working in the court system will help her run a more efficient Circuit Court Clerk office. Eggleston, who currently works as a Carter County probation officer, said that holding offenders more accountable for their actions, while also seeking to help them, will create a more profitable and, simultaneously, healthy environment.
   "I am knowledgeable about what this position actually does. There is a way to make the office more efficient, not only to the clerks but also to the public. I'm not going to get in there and be naive, because I know the terminology, and I've done the paperwork myself," she said.
   Eggleston explained that offenders who have multiple charges are often able to get away with not paying fines on lesser charges because each case is given a separate, random docket number. If all charges existed on the same docket number, Eggleston said, offenders would be held more accountable for all fines owed, resulting in more revenue.
   Eggleston, 32, said her experience working as a Deputy Court Clerk taught her a lot about working with others. Being personable, she said, is an important part of being an effective Circuit Court Clerk because it involves working with people who need guidance and who, at the same time, need to be held responsible for their actions.
   "You've gotta' be able to handle these people and be able to communicate with them, to calm them down in a situation, and to try to be helpful. Nothing's more irritating than to go to an office and not receive help, no matter what office it is," she said.
   Concerning the budget for the Circuit Court Clerk's office, Eggleston said she could not comment on any changes or adjustments that need to be made because she hasn't had a chance to review it closely "I don't know what John Paul has done. I've got a copy of the budget. I know that the county employees didn't get a raise this year. I would like to bring in enough revenue so that that isn't an issue. Everyone needs incentives, and I've been in their shoes; you're dealing with people who are not always cheery," she said.
   Office space and quality is an issue the Carter County jail has had to deal with due to recent flooding and various problems. Eggleston said she believes more office space is needed. "It's flooded quite a bit, and that can't be healthy. I think this is going to be more of an issue not with me but with the budget. I know they're doing the best they can, but, yes, they do need more space." Eggleston said having the courtroom close to the clerk's office, though, is very helpful.
   Eggleston holds a B.S. degree in Criminal Justice from East Tennessee State University. On Saturdays she said she works with juveniles in a program designed to teach them the importance of morals and help them set goals. "I'm all the time telling them 'you can be everything that you want to be, but you've got to work for it.' And this office is an opportunity, I guess, that I'm working for. I just think it would fulfill me," she said.