I want to thank you for both your interest and your informative article on the important choice facing the voters of Buncombe County to select their next Clerk of Superior Court [”Low profile, high impact,” Sept. 29 Xpress].
I am writing this letter in response to statements made by my opponent, Mr. Steve Cogburn. [He] states: North Carolina’s “unified court system” … “limits any single county’s ability to innovate”; “my opponent wants to change the technology here, well, we can’t”; and “you can’t change the technology in just one county.”
This hopelessly negative perspective demonstrates Mr. Cogburn’s business-as-usual attitude. The very core of my reasons for taking on this endeavor is for us to improve and be better.
While there are certainly areas that require a unified system, before we say, “we can’t,” we must first engage in the dialogue. Every courthouse in this state is different. It’s unfortunate that Mr. Cogburn’s 25 years of experience were limited to a specific area of practice in a limited locale. He has not had the opportunity, as I have, to regularly engage the services of clerks of court outside of Buncombe County.
While claiming “we can’t” make improvements, Mr. Cogburn contradicts himself on his website, where he claims to take credit for the PayNCTicket system. The Administrative Office of the Courts in Raleigh actually implemented this new system statewide.
I would rather spend my time talking about what we can do. Why not use our county’s established website to be more informative and interactive? We can do this; we can inform the public of courthouse closings during inclement weather; we can add a bar code to files so that the Clerk’s office can locate files.
We can make these improvements, and we can make Buncombe County a leader in the delivery of justice to our citizens. I hope you will support me in November, and prove that we can!
— John R. Sutton Jr.
Candidate for Clerk of Court, Buncombe County