Svonavec to run for third term as clerk of courts

January 15, 2019

Two-term Somerset County Clerk of Courts Rose Svonavec announced Monday her intention to seek a third term in office.

Svonavec, 65, of Milford Township, said she has additional goals to fulfill.

“There is still a lot I would like to see accomplished in the office,” she said.

Svonavec said she is most proud of the work she has done to improve technology in the office.

“I have added (adjustable standing desks) to address the limited space we have,” she said. “This has added an extra layer of workspace and allows my clerks to stand if they need to as they work. Also, a wireless keyboard and computer mouse for each clerk helps with space options. Since our office is one of the busiest in case volume but one of the smallest in space, I see new equipment as a solution to increase efficiency and effectiveness.”

Svonavec said she used money from the automation fund, a segregated account to be used only for office technology, to pay for the advancements.

“Since this account is funded by the defendant in each case, taxpayers are not impacted,” she said. “In 2017, I sought to have an ATM machine installed in the courthouse to facilitate payments of fines.”

Svonavec was elected to the Executive Committee of the Pennsylvania State Association of the Prothonotaries and Clerks of Courts in 2016. This committee meets several times during the year to discuss legal issues and maintain coordination of these offices throughout the state. She also serves on Somerset County’s Criminal Justice Advisory Board and Records Improvement Committee. Svonavec also sets up payment plans so individuals with summary offenses can more easily pay off case balances.

“I am very humbled and grateful to serve Somerset County as the clerk of courts,” she said. “When I talk to others in this office throughout Pennsylvania, I am truly proud of Somerset County and all this county stands for both historically and operationally. Our citizens are the best.”

She said that each year the case volume rises.

“Expungements are also up, as more individuals seek to clear their record so they can get a job, go to school, buy guns or renew gun permits,” she said. “We have recently filed expungement cases from the 1960s. Finding older records is always a challenge for the Clerk of Courts Office and the Microfilm Department.”

The office works closely with common pleas court judges, district judges, the district attorney, the prothonotary, the Probation Department, the Sheriff’s Office, the register of wills, the county treasurer, county auditors and the Microfilm Department, as well as the county’s municipal police departments. The office is also responsible for collecting fines, costs and restitution for crime victims. The office mails out 200 to 300 restitution checks every month as well as payments for costs and fines to various municipalities throughout Somerset County.

“The Clerk of Courts Office staff’s committed to treating everyone who comes into or calls the office with dignity, patience and courtesy,” she said. “I am proud of my staff and would like the opportunity to continue working with them and serving Somerset County as the clerk of courts.”

Svonavec, a Republican, is the first person to announce a candidacy for the office.

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