Candidate 2018 profile: Krystal Valdez

Krystal Valdez

ELLIS COUNTY — Learn more about Krystal Valdez in her own words as she runs for Ellis County Clerk in the 2018 Republican primary.

Election day voting will be held on March 6, 2018 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Click here for a list of election day polling locations. Early voting will take place February 20, 2018 through March 2, 2018. Click here for a list of early voting locations and times.

Click here to view and compare all County Clerk candidates' answers on one page.

Krystal Valdez questionnaire responses

Ellis County Citizen endorses Krystal Valdez for County Clerk during the 2018 elections.

Ellis County Citizen endorses Krystal Valdez for County Clerk during the 2018 elections.

1) Age:

35

2) City of Residence:

Waxahachie

3) Years Living in Ellis County:

23

4) Family:

Married to my husband, Eric Valdez with two children, Tyler and Ariana.

5) Education:

Graduated from Red Oak High School and received my Paralegal Studies from Navarro College.

6) Previous Public Office Experience:

While I have never served as an Elected Official or head of department, I have served over eight years of public service for Ellis County; over six years as a Deputy County Clerk for the Ellis County Clerk’s Office and over two years as Chief Administrator for Ellis County Court at Law No 1.

7) Occupation:

Court Coordinator for Ellis County Court at Law No 1.

8) Church and Civic Involvement:

My family and I have remained active members of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church for twenty-three years. I am a member of the Ellis County Republican Women, I volunteer at a nearby Elementary School and the Waxahachie Youth Baseball Association.

9) Please provide a biographical narrative.

Krystal Valdez has lived in Ellis County for 23 years, she graduated from Red Oak High School and went on to earn her Paralegal Degree from Navarro College. When Krystal is not working she enjoys spending time with her husband Eric and two children, Tyler and Ariana. By the grace of God, Krystal and Eric have successfully completed 15 years together and credit their faith, family support and church community for that accomplishment. Krystal and Eric have been active members of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church for over 20 years where they have raised their children in the Christian faith. Krystal’s husband, Eric, is nearing 15 years at Oncor, prior to that he spent two and half years in law enforcement. Their son, Tyler, plays baseball for Mountain View College and their daughter, Ariana, enjoys dancing and softball.

10) What motivated your interest in running for County Clerk in Ellis County?

When I began working for the Ellis County Clerk’s Office over 8 years ago I realized my passion for public service didn’t come from doing the work, it came from loving the work. After several years of working in the Clerks Office and completing the first technological advancement, I realized that I had a drive to make the Clerk’s Office better than it was. My goal is to make the necessary technological advancements while continuing the exceptional level of customer service that Cindy Polley instilled over her seven terms.

11) Briefly and succinctly define the job responsibilities of the office you are seeking.

The County Clerk serves as the clerk and custodian of the records for the Commissioners Court, County Court at Law 1 and County Court at Law 2; is the recorder and custodian of public records including bonds, deeds, assumed names, livestock brands, birth, death and marriage records and ensuring the records are maintained in a archival manner.

12) What qualifications and professional experiences do you possess that are applicable to the position you are seeking requires? Be specific.

I have over six years of experience as a Deputy County Clerk in the Ellis County Clerk’s Office, I served in the Vital Statistics Department, Real Property Research, Lead Civil Desk Clerk, assisted in Probate and Guardianship, have experience in researching legislative changes that affect the Clerk’s office, and have a working knowledge of other duties. Additionally, I have served as the Chief Administrator for County Court at Law No 1, a court supported by the Clerk’s Office. In this position I have improved interdepartmental communications, assisted the Judge in creating policies and procedures that have created efficiency and assisted the Judge in creating and maintaining a balanced budget. Over the past eight years I have built relationships and worked successfully with all other departments within the County.

13) What qualifications do you possess that will enable you to manage a budget of over $1 million for the County Clerk’s office? Be specific.

I have been through several budget cycles maintaining the County Court at Law 1 budget, I am familiar with the proven processes to keep it balanced while staying within the guidelines set by the County. I am also aware of the special and dedicated funds that the County Clerk maintains and will make sure that any spending from these funds is done properly.

14) How has your education and professional experience prepared you for this office?

My education in Paralegal Studies along with my experience in the Clerk’s Office and County Court at Law 1 has allowed me to have a proven record in the duties of the Clerks office; experience in maintaining a large, balanced budget; and created successful relationships with all other departments in the County. As a Deputy Clerk I directly assisted leadership with the implementation of efiling, efiling was the largest technological advancement in the history of the Clerks Office. This experience has allowed me have first-hand knowledge of the type of work and the necessary time that is needed to make future technological advancements.

15) Have you declared bankruptcy or have had any liens placed upon you in the past 10 years? If so, please explain.

No.

16) What distinguishes you from your opponent(s)?

I am the only candidate with experience in the Clerk’s Office, this has allowed me the opportunity to directly address the isssues. I am confident that my experience with the processes, procedures, software system and daily duties will allow me to begin working for the Citizens of Ellis County on day one.

17) Is there any additional training that you plan to seek to assist you in the duties of County Clerk?

Yes, Government Code 51.605 requires clerks to complete 20 hours of instruction regarding the performance of the clerks duties of office during each calendar year that begins after the clerks election or appointment to office. As a new county clerk I will be required to receive continuing education from the Attorney General's Office of the State of Texas for the topics of Public Information Act and Open Records and Meeting Act; this education is required within the first three months of taking office.

18) What is the appropriate budget size for the County Clerk’s office and why should the current budget be cut, remain the same or increased?

I believe it would be difficult to make cuts with the amount of growth of Ellis County, and until I am in Office and can see exactly how much it costs to maintain the Office I cannot confidently answer as to whether it should remain the same or be increased.

19) What are the three greatest challenges facing Ellis County related to the position you are seeking? If elected, what measures would you propose to resolve them?

At the moment I believe the greatest challenge facing Ellis County is the rapid growth resulting in a substantial increase in documents that the Clerk’s office receives on a daily basis. I believe an improved software system that will create efficiency, along with implementing e-recording and e-filing for criminal cases will streamline processes, saving time and money.

20) If elected, what are your top three priorities? How will you work with other elected officials and county staff to achieve them? Be specific.

My first priority will be to begin the process of making public documents accessible online, I will research the codes and reach out to other County Clerk’s to address any issues that they have more than likely overcome so we can be prepared for any of those issues. My second priority will be implementing e-recording to allow the recording industry the ability to electronically file deed records. My third priority will be to improve the website to make the citizens online experience just as enjoyable as it is when they walk through the door. In addition to that I will also work alongside my fellow county clerk's to fight against unfunded-state mandates and to bring such mandates to the commissioners’ attention in an effort to keep funding at the local level.

21) Government transparency has been an issue at all levels of politics for the past few years. Do you feel that the county is transparent enough? If not, what needs to change?

I believe anything that is public record should be reasonably accessible to the public, and I will work very hard to make those records available.

22) Minutes from Commissioners’ Court meetings are often slow to be written, presented to the Commissioners’ Court for approval and published on the county website. Do you believe this is an issue? If so, what do you plan to do to resolve the issue?

I have visited with the County Clerk and she is aware that it is an issue. Once I am elected, I will have first-hand knowledge of the process and have an idea of what the issue is so that I can work to resolve it.

23) In your opinion, what are the most important qualities that a County Clerk needs to have?

I believe the most important quality is a servants heart, the Clerk’s office is all about servicing the citizens of Ellis County. I also believe attention to detail, a drive to learn, and willingness to be ready for changes and to adapt to those changes is extremely important. The Clerk’s Office touches some if not all parts of our lives, the duties of the Clerk's office and the way they are done is constantly changing with the legislature and it is extremely important for the records to be kept accurately and according to law.

24) How can the office of County Clerk best serve the citizens of the county?

The Office of the County Clerk can best serve the citizens of the county by making records easily accessible, looking for ways to make processes more efficient and always maintaining transparent and financially fiscal with your money.

25) If elected, how would you reach out and form relationships with residents of Ellis County and how would you reach out to those residents in the outlying areas of the county?

I believe the best way to reach out to those areas would be with an updated and informative website and the use of social media to keep the residents of the outlying areas immediately up to date.

26) If elected, what are the factors on which you will base your decisions as County Clerk?

When making decisions I will always ensure that my decisions are in the best interest of the citizens of Ellis County and that they are done according to the law. As County Clerk I will take an oath to faithfully execute the duties of the Office of County Clerk of the State of Texas, and will to the best of my ability preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States and of this State, so help me God; those are the factors I will base my decisions on.

27) Why should voters choose you?

Running for County Clerk is not something I decided overnight, this is something I have prayed about and worked towards for several years. I genuinely care about making improvements that will benefit everyone, including the clerks that work in the office. Making technological improvements is without a doubt extremely necessary, I have already begun those improvements and I want to take those improvements to the next level. I will give the taxpayers the biggest bang for their buck because I am already trained, experienced, and have a proven track record in the duties of the Clerk's Office. I am confident that I have the experience to seamlessly transition the Clerk's Office from day one.