Thursday, June 24, 1999

Kramer promises court office upgrade




BY PATRICK CROWLEY
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        FORT WRIGHT — Republican Steve Kramer kicked off his 2000 campaign for Kenton County Circuit Court Clerk on Wednesday, saying it's time to update the office and take it out of “the stone age.”

        Speaking at Kenton County Republican Party headquarters in Fort Wright to a room packed with GOP leaders, activists and elected officials, Mr. Kramer unveiled a three-point platform for his campaign.

        “As many of you have experienced firsthand, the (circuit) clerk's office is unfortunately stuck in the stone age,” said Mr. Kramer, 24. “It desperately needs to be updated.”

        If elected next year, Mr. Kramer said he will:

        • Expand the clerk's office hours to weeknights and weekends.

        “There is no reason why the clerk's office should only be available to the people of Kenton County from only 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.,” he said.

        • Open a satellite office in Kenton County.

        “Limiting the clerk's office to operate exclusively out of the Covington and Independence courthouses makes it even more difficult for those in the central and southern part of the county to make it to the clerk's office,” Mr. Kramer said.

        • Put the clerk's office into cyberspace.

        Mr. Kramer said he wants to put the office on the Internet so people can pay fines and attorneys can view or file documents via computer.

        Incumbent Circuit Court Clerk Mary Ann Woltenberg, a two-term Fort Wright Democrat, has not decided whether she will seek another term.

        Ms. Woltenberg could not be reached to comment Wednesday on Mr. Kramer's announcement, but said earlier in the week that she is already moving toward putting the office online.

        “I'm working on a statewide technology committee that is trying to set up computer access to the office,” she said. “But it's going to take some time, and there are some legal issues about what you can actually put on the Web.”

        Dubbed “The Boy Wonder” by Kenton County GOP Chairman Greg Shumate, Mr. Kramer, who works as a law clerk for Kenton County Attorney Garry Edmondson, was just 21 when he was elected to Villa Hills City Council. He was re-elected last year, receiving the most votes among the council candidates.

       



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