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Shanna Earls


How long have you been a part of the Howell County community? To what extent have you been a part of local government in Howell County? I have been a lifelong Howell County resident and have worked for the circuit clerk’s office for the last 19 years. I worked in virtually every clerk position, including probate, protection orders, juvenile, family court, civil court, criminal court and jury duty. Currently, I serve as a supervisor in the clerk’s office and volunteer as a member for the Missouri Professional Association of Court Clerks, recently nominated as Regional Officer.

Why are you running for circuit clerk? Running for circuit clerk will provide me the opportunity to share my experiences, knowledge and background, while helping the citizens of Howell County. I am proud of our county and want to give back to the community while serving in this position.

Why are you the best candidate in this race? In my 19 years of working in the circuit clerk’s office, I have mastered many aspects of the job. I am a proven leader and teammate and possess a strong work ethic. Working in the clerk’s office for nearly two decades has enhanced my knowledge within the courts system and has provided countless experiences. Out of the 19 years, however, I believe I have gained the most important knowledge of all: the circuit clerk’s office is not about politics but is about the people and citizens of Howell County.

What is one challenge facing Howell County Circuit Courts and how would you address it? Throughout my career, I have worked for two circuit clerks, and each one has been presented with many challenges and trials. I will continue to build on the groundwork that my predecessors have established while working along with my peers. The circuit clerk’s office is an ever-changing career with responsibilities that require an energetic and forward-thinking clerk to keep the office moving efficiently while providing quality service and the utmost respect.

If you had the budget, what is the problem you would like to solve in the circuit clerk’s office? One common problem the circuit clerk’s office faces is the amount of people who are not able to afford attorneys and do not know how to access available resources. As clerks, we are not able to provide legal advice, but it would be nice to obtain a grant that would improve our website and make resource information easily accessible to the public.

What goals do you have for the clerk’s office? To improve our website and make resource information easily accessible to the public.

How would you work with other elected officials or governing bodies to accomplish the goals you have for the clerk’s office? I have worked with elected officials throughout my career and understand what it takes to accomplish goals that are set. Teamwork is vital for success and it takes everyone working together, providing ideas, and voicing their opinions to achieve the end goal.

What have been the most effective methods for improving court procedures? What other methods would you suggest to improve efficiency or make the courts less intimidating to the public? One method to improve efficiency would be a standard operating procedure, which is a document that provides clear directions as to how employees must go about completing specific tasks. Establishing a standard operating procedure for every job ensures each clerk understands what their specific job entails. Challenges will arise, of course, but that’s where teamwork comes into play. Cross-training is another key to success so that workloads can be shifted and shared.

What has been your greatest accomplishment in your career? Throughout my career, I have earned the respect of many local attorneys due to my dependability, work ethic and getting the job done in reputable time. I also feel honored to be the one that others feel comfortable confiding in and providing words of advice.

In your personal life? Outside of my career, being a wife and mother to three children are the two best titles and blessings that God has given me.

What do you believe is the most important quality, talent or experience you will bring to the job if elected circuit clerk? I have worked in the general public since I was 16, starting as a fast-food employee, cashier at Walmart, receptionist, and to my current position as a deputy clerk. Although all my past jobs vary in many ways, they have all taught me many valuable skills like problem-solving and customer service. I exercise those skills every day, but the most valuable lesson I took away from all my previous jobs are two simple words: compassion and empathy. I have and will always take pride in helping others, and as a circuit clerk, you can trust that I will always put the needs of the citizens first. My door will always remain open.


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