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Sunday, May 19, 2024

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Candidate Survey: Heidi Kuhn, Candidate for Criminal Court Clerk

Candidate: Heidi Kuhn
Candidate for: Criminal Court Clerk
Birthplace: Colorado
Marital Status: Married
Children: 4
Educational Background: Masters
High School: Mitchell High School
College: University of New Mexico and Christian Brothers University
Party Affiliation: Democrat
Campaign Website: https://m.facebook.com/Heidi-Kuhn-for-Criminal-Court-Clerk-150961399026523/
Campaign Phone: 9015980175
Current Occupation: Special Assistant and Strategist to the Sheriff

Brief Background:

I have 17 plus years working for Shelby County Government with a focus on Criminal Justice, working with victims of crime, their families, offenders, Judges, and elected officials. All positions I’ve held have been leadership positions managing budgets, people and programs. I am a problem solver with a record of great success. I have serve on several boards and volunteer in the community. I received the “50 Women Who Make A Difference” and the “Top 40 Under 40” Awards. I have experience in Criminal Justice and a Commitment to Shelby County.

Community Involvement:

Volunteer with Streets Ministries
Volunteer with Leadership Memphis
Board Member – Greater Memphis Media
Advisory Board – COMEC (Commission on Missing and Exploited Children)
Foundation Board Member – Shelby County Drug Court
Past Chair – Domestic Violence Council
Past Vice-Chairman – Lakeland City Economic Development Commission
Past Member – Lakeland City Design and Reviee Committee

1. In your opinion, what are the top three major issues facing the district you wish to represent? What concrete solutions do you propose to address these issues?

The 3 main issues in the Criminal Courts Office:

1. The apathy towards expungement of records for those eligible. The expungement fee needs to be reduced in order to allow those financially challenged at a new chance for better opportunities and education. I want to reduce the recidivism rate by giving offenders a chance to better their lives.

2. Outreach and education. There isn’t an outreach and education program within the office. Going into the community to educate citizens about the Criminal Court Clerks Office and it’s programs like expungement would allow for more visibility and accountability within the office while showing we care about people and the decisions they make.

3. Enhance customer service by making sure all internal (Judges, attorneys, law enforcement and staff) and external (offenders and their family members) customers are treated with dignity and respect. Also by increasing access to the Criminal Court Clerks Office by establishing on online payment system for court fines and fees and a reminder system.

2. What are the biggest issues and needs facing the youth of your district? What will you do to address those needs?

The youth need a better expungement program so that they don’t pay for a decision they made when they were young to follow them throughout life. An education and outreach program could also assist in deterring them from getting into the “system”.

3. From your perspective, what is the job description of the office you’re seeking? What expertise will you bring to the position and what in your background/experience has prepared you for this elected position?

The Criminal Clerks Office main duty is administrative reporting cases to the state as well as collecting fines and fees and monitoring the expungement program.

I have over 17 years of Shelby County Goverment experience, as well as a Masters Degree from the Business School at Christian Brothers University. I know how to work with the Commisison, create and monitor multimillon dollar budgets, and manage programs. I am a problem solver that has a proven track record of developing new programs or policies to benefit the organizations and areas for which I was responsible. My experience in Criminal Justice and my Commitment to Shelby County qualifies me as the best candidate for the position of Criminal Court Clerk.

4. Do you feel that the average citizen is well-informed and understands the workings of (federal/state/municipal) government? If not, how do you intend on improving communication with your constituency?

I do not believe Shelby County citizens are unaware of the Criminal Court Clerks Office responsibilities. I am very interested in developing an Outreach and Education program to increase awareness while attempting to reduce the recidivism rate.

5. Do you support granting economic incentives particularly use of PILOTS to prospective companies looking to locate or expand in Shelby County, and why? What if any alternative measures would you propose to attract new investment to Shelby County?

This question does not pertain to the Criminal Court Clerks Office.

6. How do you plan on sustaining and improving our public transportation system?

This question doesn’t pertain to the Criminal Court Clerk’s Office.

7. What measure(s) would you propose to aid school funding? Do you favor a sales tax increase? Why or Why not?

This question doesn’t pertain to the Criminal Court Clerk’s Office.

8. How do you propose we improve public education in Shelby County with the ongoing fragmentation of schools and increased school funding pressures?

This question doesn’t pertain to the Criminal Court Clerk’s Office.

9. Would you support initiatives to address disparities in regard to environmental justice issues? (Like the disproportionate amount of industrial areas and waste treatment in minority communities) If so, what would they be?

This question doesn’t pertain to the Criminal Court Clerk’s Office.

10. What do you think we can do to prevent and reduce crime in our communities?

The Criminal Court Clerk’s Office could increase expungements and attempt to reduce the recidivism rate while providing opportunities of education and employment to offenders.

11. What do you consider your highest priority? When it comes to their job function, duties and responsibilities?

The first priority would be to work towards increased expungement, making sure people know about their rights and opportunities. I would also like to increase and enhance the relationship with the Criminal Court Judges and the Criminal Court Clerk’s Office.

12. What are your ideas to increase revenue or lower costs of government within Shelby County?

The first priority would be to work towards increased expungement, making sure people know about their rights and opportunities. I would also like to increase and enhance the relationship with the Criminal Court Judges and the Criminal Court Clerk’s Office.

13. Have you ever been convicted or found liable of non-payment of taxes, perjury, bribery, non-payment of child support, non-payment of court-ordered alimony, or any other instance of financially-related incidents that may be considered fraud or public corruption? Circumstances if yes?


14. Identify three of the most critical long-term needs for Shelby-County and explain why they are necessary.

Long term needs:

1. Additional school funding. The schools do not receive enough and the teachers are paid less than market value and the children aren’t receiving the attention and education needed.

2. Reduction in crime. Shelby County has one of the highest rates in crime. There are many issues surrounding this issue that need to be addressed.

3. Access to affordable healthcare. So many citizens don’t have healthcare or enough healthcare.

15. What other priorities would you focus on if elected? Why are those important and how would you go about accomplishing them?

I’d like to change the face of the elected official. I am interested in doing my best as the Criminal Court Clerk, but I also want to be able to use it as a platform to help others in the community, as well. I want to serve, not be a politician. I am committed to making Shelby County a better place for all citizens.

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