Rotary President, Tami Pierce welcomed everyone to the meeting before turning it over to Dr. Jessica Johnson to introduce the program. Lee Haidusek Chambers, Liberty County Clerk, was introduced to the club. She graduated from Dayton High School and received her engineering degree from Texas A&M. She worked in the computer industry for 10 years then went to SMU School of Law. Mrs. Chambers has been a licensed attorney for 25 years and became the Liberty County Clerk in January, 2019. She presented a historical and informative program. Mrs. Chambers talked about the duties and responsibilities of the County Clerk’s office including: Official Public Records, Court Case Records, Commissioners Court Minutes, Elections and Financials. Chambers gave some examples of public records such as property deeds, liens, subdivision maps, marriage licenses, vital registrar (birth and death), cattle brands registration, military discharge records and alcohol sales permits. Records before 1872 were burned in the fire of the Court House. Currently, the records date back to 1872 and must be housed at the County Clerk’s office. Two big historical books of records, all written by hand, which have been preserved and sleeved were on display at the meeting for the Rotarians to look through. Since coming into office, Mrs. Chambers has made it her mission to restore permanent collections of records and convert the records into an electronic system. This has been accomplished and now all stakeholders can view records on-line. The County Clerk also dis cussed the importance of signing up for the Fraud Guard notification system, which is free to everyone.
Interestingly, the court case records which are kept include criminal cases. Misdemeanor DWI/DUI, theft, assault, drug possession, and juvenile prosecutions are all in the records. Probate cases such as wills, administrations, guardianships, and mental health are also on record at the County Clerk’s office. Collections, condemnation, and structured settlements are included in the category of civil cases. Liberty County converted the entire courts case system to a program called Odyssey. This covers the case from the arrest to sentencing. Odyssey also has improved the reporting to State and Federal agencies. This conversion also has improved online accessibility and e-filling capabilities.
Mrs. Chambers is responsible for recording all Commissioners Court Meetings. They were an early adaptor/test site for the new Meeting Manager Software system. Currently they are in the process of scanning and adding copies of prior minutes to the database.
In the area of upgrading the election process, Chambers asked to purchase new election equipment shortly after being elected. This ensures a backup paper trail and has improved the security of elections. She restructured the budget to cover the costs to allow a full-time Elections Administrator to her office. Other projects coming out of the County Clerks office includes: Financial management, public information request system, courtroom technology to improve audio/visual aids and the improvement of their current website.
Each week the Dayton Rotary Club has lunch and has an informative program. Rotary President Tami Pierce invites anyone interested in visiting or possibly joining the Dayton Rotary Club. “We meet each Thursday at the Dayton Community Center @ noon. We hope to grow our club and are looking for some new members. So, if you are interested in joining a service organization, then come on out and join us Thursday.”