Sharon Blount-Baker has announced she is seeking re-election as Crawford County circuit clerk.
Baker said she has worked diligently to modernize the functions of the circuit clerk’s office. During this past term in office, Baker has implemented a new court management system that makes court documents available for viewing by the public.
The circuit clerk is the clerk of the circuit and juvenile courts and acts as the ex-officio recorder of Crawford County. The circuit clerk maintains a record of all proceedings of circuit courts. The circuit clerk issues summons, warrants, subpoenas and writs authorized by the circuit court. The clerk also maintains a file of all cases pending in the circuit court as well as a record of all past court cases and their dispositions. As ex-officio recorder, the circuit clerk is responsible for recording deeds, mortgages, liens and many other orders and instruments which involve property in the county.
Baker said she is especially proud of the fact that she has been able to turn more than $2.4 million from fees collected by her office back to the county.
"Keeping tight controls on spending has allowed us not only to stay within our budget the past eight years, but to give money to the county for other uses," Baker said. "Fiscal responsibility coupled with efficiency geared toward serving Crawford County residents will always remain a priority in my office."
Baker funds more than 60 percent of her office expenses, including salaries, from recording fees, saving the county hundreds of thousands of dollars that would otherwise have come from the county’s general fund, she said.
Baker said her next project is to implement a new automated electronic recording system for real estate records such as deeds, mortgages and liens. This system will also allow for electronic filing and record review, which will be funded entirely from the Circuit Clerk’s Cost Recorder Fund.
Baker currently serves on the Electronic Recording Commission as an appointee by Gov. Mike Beebe. She is one the first circuit clerks to be selected for the National Courts Management program offered through the Administrative Office of the Courts. Baker is second vice president and legislative chair of the Arkansas Circuit Clerk’s Association, was appointed to the Arkansas Supreme Court’s Redaction Task Force and serves on the Crawford County Courtroom Security Committee.
Baker is a member of First Baptist Church of Alma, a graduate of the 2008 Leadership Crawford County class and serves on the Harry O. Hamm Scholarship Committee. She serves on the Board of Directors of CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates). She and her husband Chuck reside in Alma and have four children, LaManda Broyles (husband Jared), Branden Blount, Jennifer Baker and Kimberly Baker. Baker also has one granddaughter, Emmarie.
Baker is a life-long Crawford County resident. Prior to being elected circuit clerk, Baker served one term on the Crawford County Quorum Court.
"I, along with my staff, look forward to serving the people of Crawford County for the next two years," Baker said. "It is an honor and privilege to have been elected to this office."