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The Clerk’s Report – April 2023

It’s the start of spring! I hope everyone is enjoying the great weather. Our office has been working on several projects that will help improve our services and benefit the public.

One of the most exciting projects we are preparing to launch is a new jury management system. I understand that many of you might have felt dread the first time you received your jury summons. The process can be confusing. However, the importance of your service cannot be understated as it is a vital part of our court system. To make this process easier for you, our team has been working to implement a new high-tech jury management system. With online access, email notices and text alerts, as well as a paperless check-in system, you’ll be able to save time and frustration. This new system is part of our ongoing mission to modernize our services by using relevant technologies that are accessible to the community.

Aside from the new jury summon system, our team has been working on developing a new legal notice platform where the public can easily access tax deeds, the Value Adjustment Board (VAB), and more. The first of three phases is currently in testing and we expect to launch phase one in the second quarter of 2023. This new website will provide digital coverage instead of the more traditional print publication of notices, which is expected to significantly reduce overall advertising costs.

We had more good news this first quarter of the year our office was awarded the Popular Annual Financial Report (PAFR) Award from the Government Financial Officers Association (GFOA). This was the first year that our office’s PAFR was submitted to the award program and I’m proud that our team was recognized for the thorough reporting and professional financial reports. We recently completed the 2022 financial reports that will also be submitted for review. We are striving to continue achieving these successes in the coming years.

I also want to bring attention to recent check-washing scams that we were able to detect and prevent losses. “Check Washing” scams involve changing the payee names and often the dollar amounts on checks and fraudulently depositing them. If you ever experience this scam, please contact your banking institution for further assistance and guidance and possible referral to law enforcement. Many banks now offer positive pay verification systems that can help detect fraud.

I am looking forward to meeting many of our community members this month! I am very grateful and honored to be invited to several events to speak about the upcoming centennial celebration and the future of Collier County this Spring. I hope that you’ll find my presentations useful and informative. If you are interested in having me speak to your group, please email cyndee.woolley@collierclerk.com to book in my calendar.

A dedicated team of staff members have recently worked on creating a video about the History of Collier Clerks. The video will introduce you to the nine Clerks who have served Collier County for the past 100 years and their most valuable contribution to the county’s growth. This is a part of our ‘Moments in Collier County’s History’ series. I would love to hear your thoughts!