May-June 2019 Issue of Inside Northside Magazine

Page 43




Under Melissa’s direction, the Clerk’s office is on sound financial footing— the 2018 fiscal audit offered no changes or recommended actions to the current practices. Improved internal controls provide better transparency and consistency. Because the Clerk’s office receives no taxpayer funds, all revenue generated is fee for service. Since Melissa cannot control the revenue that comes in, it’s all important that she control what is spent. To control costs, Melissa has made Requests for Proposals for commercial insurance, payroll processing, staffing agencies, credit card processing services, benefits and uniforms which has resulted in savings of thousands of dollars. While there have been vast improvements in technology, budget and overall cooperation with the 22nd Judicial District Court, Melissa has also sought a better workplace for the 150 on staff offering live motivational speakers and seminars, health fairs, financial planners and access to online professional training. The Clerk’s staff is invested in making the community a better place through involvement with chambers and other service organizations. Plus, the monthly “dress down day” contributions are donated to an annual charity of their choice. Past

Melissa R. Henry Clerk of Court

Since taking office on July 1, 2016, St. Tammany Parish Clerk of Court

recipients have been STARC, James Storehouse and this year’s Truth in Nature. The St. Tammany Clerk of Court office is a nationally recognized passport acceptance facility, having received an award for exceptional customer service in 2017 from the U.S. State Department—one of only six issued out

Melissa R. Henry says, “My record speaks for itself. I made campaign promises

of 7,000 facilities nationally. Melissa and her staff pride themselves on

and I have kept them all. I have kept faith with the citizens of St. Tammany. I knew

prompt, courteous and efficient service—and the passport office is convenient,

that I could improve things not only for the public, but for our deputy clerks.”

comfortable and kid-friendly!

Melissa was confident that her experience in the Clerk’s office, coupled with her private sector ownership of a mortgage company, made her uniquely

As the Chief Elections Officer for St. Tammany Parish and chair of the Board of Elections Supervisors, Melissa is always striving to engage citizens in the

qualified for the job. The public agreed. She smiles, saying, “It was a natural fit.” elections process. She seeks to recruit Election Commissioners, who set up voting With passion and determination, Melissa has brought 21st century

precincts, assist voters, enforce election laws and help maintain accurate voting

technology to the Clerk’s office. “The technology changes and upgrades we

records. Passionate about fair and accurate elections, Melissa personally trains all

have made in the past couple of years are nothing short of revolutionary. It

1,149 commissioners with live seminars in Covington, Mandeville and Slidell.

is exhilarating.” The most important technology upgrade is the new case management software “Odyssey,” the first in Louisiana. The new system for the criminal

“We are here to serve the public. I wake up every day thinking about how to improve the Clerk’s office and its ability to provide the much-needed services to the public. I keep my promises.”

and civil divisions works hand-in-hand with other agencies, transmitting time, the judges will access files from the bench, review, e-sign and upload documents into our system automatically. Attorneys will walk out of the courtroom and access court documents—saving time and paper,” says Melissa. Other technology improvements include e-filing and e-recording for attorneys and the public; back-scanning of court records and documents; redesigned website; new computer systems for the staff; and acceptance of credit card payments.

The St. Tammany Parish Clerk of Court office is located at 701 N. Columbia St. in Covington. 985-809-8700. May-June 2019 43


data digitally. “Our Minute Clerks will take minutes in the courtroom in real-