Ed. — The following are responses to questions posed by The Independent News to the unopposed candidate for Virginia Beach Circuit Court Clerk in the election on Tuesday, Nov. 5. Answers to our questions in this series generally are not edited, aside from obvious punctuation issues, spacing and formatting, or for clarity. Our full voter guide is now on stands.
TINA SINNEN (R)
Residence: Heron Ridge
Occupation: Virginia Beach Circuit Court Clerk
Military Service/Education Completed: I graduated from Kellam High School, and attended Old Dominion University for a year. I recently received my Master Circuit Court Clerk designation from the National Center for State Courts education program.
What are your specific qualifications for this office? I have grown up in the Clerk’s Office. Curtis Fruit, the previous Clerk of 24 years (40 years in the office), hired me in 1991 and taught me from the ground up. To say I know everything about every aspect of my office, no one could ever say, but my knowledge base is 29 years office experience with the last 16 as the Clerk of Court. I have just earned my Master Circuit Court Clerk designation from the National Center for State Courts educational program.
It is likely that some voters do not understand the complex, diverse duties of the circuit court clerk. Please describe your overall management experience and how it has prepared you for the varied duties of the office you seek. We have so many responsibilities within the Clerk’s Office. The Code of VA says we have 800+ duties. We have this whole recording side recording every land record in the City of Va. Beach, judgments, DD-214’s, Powers of Attorneys, we do Marriage Licenses, Hunting and Fishing Licenses, Notary Applications, just to name a few. And we also have the Court side doing name changes, divorce, adoption, larger size civil suits and also criminal matters. Each division has a Supervisor and an Assistant Supervisor with a Chief Deputy, all with many years of knowledge and experience.
The election for this office involves political parties. Does party involvement help voters select a competent circuit court clerk? I believe it does help as the Republican Party has been very good about getting out information to the voters in Virginia Beach on all their candidates to at least know who is running and what their qualifications are so they can make an informed decision for themselves.
I am very grateful to not have an opponent. I believe it speaks to the kind of service the citizens of Va. Beach get from the staff in my office, and also about the knowledge base we have in the office too. Being a court of record, we ant too do everything possible to get the information recorded as accurate as possible. Certainly we are not perfect, but I truly believe that my office strives every day to get it as close to perfectly accurate as possible. Thank you.
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