Q&A with David Overby
Wednesday, May 28, 2014 1:00 PM
1-Biographical information and work experience:
Married to Gail Avery. We have 5 children and 5 grandchildren. BBA in accounting from the University of Mississippi and MBA from Mississippi State University. Worked for 20 years in public accounting including the accounting firms of Price Waterhouse & Co., Breazeale Saunders & O'Neil and the Horne Group. In 1995, I began my government service as Finance Director for the City of Laurel. In 1999, I was hired as City Clerk and Director of Finance & Administration for the City of Ridgeland. In January of 2012, I was hired as County Administrator of Madison County. After a political shift to the Democrats in county government, I was dismissed and subsequently joined the City of Canton as Finance Manager.
2-Years lived in Madison County:
Lived in Madison County for 15 years.
3-I had never thought of myself as a person who would run for public office.
However, during my short term with the county, I saw so much that needed improvement. We made some progress, but a lot more needs to be done to bring efficiency and accountability to our county government. The Chancery Clerk is required by law to audit county government. This is a tool I can use to help Madison County become a better managed county government.
4-How does your background prepare you for office?
I have a good mix of private sector and public sector experience. My qualifications and experience fit that office perfectly. I worked by Arthur Johnston's side for 16 months as County Administrator. The chancery clerk performs many of the same duties for the county as the city clerk performs for the city so I already have tremendous experience doing many of the same things that the Chancery Clerk does. My qualifications and experience make me as prepared for this job as anyone can be.
5-How would you rate the current Office of Chancery Clerk?
The current office of Chancery Clerk is probably the best in the state. To stay the best, it is important to have someone who is qualified and experienced to lead the office. The office will regress if the boss does not have the qualifications and experience needed. My objective for this office is to perform at an extraordinary level in serving the public.
6-Identify three areas of improvement within the Office of Chancery Clerk.
The office must continue to move forward with new practices and technology to become more efficient and convenient for the public. Also, we will implement better ways to inform purchasers of real estate of any special assessments or PIDS that may affect their purchase. The Chancery Clerk is required by law to audit the county. I intend to fulfill this requirement and I am the only candidate with the qualifications and experience to do so.
7-What will you do to create a system in which lawyers can file all legal briefs online?
Online accessibility will be a priority for both the public and the legal community.
8-Identify areas in the Chancery Clerk budget where money could be cut and others where more funding is needed.
A mechanism to help identify areas in county government for improvement and cost savings is "performance measures". This process is utilized by many well managed businesses and governments, and I will push for performance measures throughout county government.
9-How many terms would you like to serve as Chancery Clerk and why?
I would like to serve two full terms. This will be long enough to implement my proposals like auditing and performance measures and to see the resulting improvements in our county government.
10-Identify a principled stand you have taken or would be willing to take if elected, even if you suspect it might cost you popularity with voters.
I have never and will never sacrifice my integrity to cover up anything for myself or others. We work for the citizens and our ultimate responsibility is to them. Any wrongdoing found in my audits of county government will be made public and turned over to the proper authorities.
11-Why should Madison County residents vote for you instead of your opponents?
I am the only candidate with the education, qualifications and experience to successfully perform this job. My award winning record in local government management was earned performing many of the same duties as the chancery clerk performs. I know what this job requires and I know how to perform it at an extraordinary level. Furthermore, I perform my work with the utmost integrity and transparency. My first responsibility is and will always be to the citizens.
12-Campaign information: (Where can people go to find out more about your campaign?)