Candidate Profile: Kahalah Clay

Kahalah Clay
Kahalah Clay

Name: Kahalah A. Clay

Age: 38

Immediate family members: 3. William Clay IV - Husband, we have two sons, Mr. Bruce Hill, Jr. - Father, Mrs. Reola Hill - Mother, Korre Hill – Brother

Occupation: Circuit Clerk of St. Clair County, IL and licensed Attorney

Office sought: Reelection to the Office of Clerk of the Circuit Court in St. Clair County, IL

Party affiliation: Democrat

Previous elected positions and years served: Clerk of the Circuit Court, St. Clair County, IL, Appointed February 2011, Elected November 2012

Why are you running?: I am running for re-election because it is my desire to continue to serve the people of St. Clair County as their Clerk of the Circuit Court. I am from a family of public servants. My father, Bruce Hill, Jr. was Fire Chief of the East St. Louis Fire Department for many years growing up. Public service is in my heart and I take great pride in serving others. Holding office as the Clerk of the Circuit Court has given me the opportunity to improve the Office for the people of St. Clair County and assist countless citizens with access to justice and access to the courts of the Twentieth Judicial Circuit. I enjoy the contact with the public that being the Circuit Clerk affords me. In fact, I make a point to work the windows in each of the divisions within my office in order to have that contact with the community. It is my desire to continue to serve in my role as the Clerk of the Circuit Court.

What is the biggest issue facing St. Clair County, and how should elected officials and county staff approach it?: One of the biggest issues faced by the Circuit Clerk’s Office in St. Clair County is maintaining a constant flow of information between the self-represented litigant and the Judiciary. The Circuit Clerk’s Office will continue to be progressive and provide Supreme Court approved forms and services to the many self-represented litigants in our community.

What improvements do you want to see in how the Circuit Clerk’s office?: The Illinois Supreme Court has diligently pursued an E-Business Policy for the last several years. I was one of the first Circuit Clerks in the state of Illinois to be approved for permanent status for E-Filing of all Civil case types. That was a great initiative and it has worked tremendously. I plan to improve upon this initiative by getting Supreme Court approval for both E-Criminal and E-Citation programs. E-Criminal will allow for E-Filing of all Criminal case types and E-Citation will allow for traffic tickets and police crash reports to no longer be submitted as paper tickets, but submitted electronically to the Clerk of the Circuit Court. Preparations for those two programs are well underway. As programs are implemented, the Circuit Clerk’s Office will work hard to ensure that the self-represented litigant does not get lost in the E-Filing process.

The county has cut back costs in recent years. What would you do to minimize expenditures?: Digitization and technology when properly administered can certainly save on expenditures. During my time as the Circuit Clerk, I have taken every opportunity to advance the office technologically. These advancements have saved countless man hours and have caused the office to run more efficiently and economically. Money has been saved on paper, toner, and copier and printer maintenance just to name a few things that formally cost St. Clair County thousands of dollars a year. I will continue to utilize modern innovation to save on expenditures in the Circuit Clerk’s Office.

Do you plan to serve the full term of office?: Yes.

Why should people vote for you?: The citizens of St. Clair County should vote for me because of my experience, qualifications and my commitment. For the last five and a half years I have worked to maintain fairness and consistency for all court patrons within the Twentieth Judicial Circuit. As a licensed attorney who has practiced Criminal Defense, Criminal Prosecution and Civil Law, I fully understand the needs of the Self Represented Litigant, the attorneys and the Judiciary. My legal education and experience have helped to guide me in day to day decision making and long term programming and technological advancements that have made St. Clair County one of the premier offices in the State of Illinois. The citizens should also vote for me because I have been a good steward of the money entrusted to the Circuit Clerk’s Office through the fine and the fee. All six of the annual audits conducted during my Administration have been clean audits. The 2015 audit completed in June of 2016 accounted for over $40 million dollars properly handled by the St. Clair County Circuit Clerk’s Office between January 1 and December 31, 2015.