While walking through neighborhoods and knocking on doors to meet the residents of Montgomery County, Mike Foley most often hears one question upon his introduction. What exactly is the Clerk of Courts?
A candidate for the Montgomery Clerk of Courts in this November’s election, Foley takes pleasure in explaining the job description. In Montgomery County, the Clerk of Courts is the official record-keeper and agent for the court system. The organization serves the Common Pleas Court, General Division; Domestic Relations Court; County Municipal Courts; and the Second District Court of Appeals as well as the Auto Title Division. The Clerk of Courts office performs tasks that range from receiving, indexing, certifying and preserving legal documents filed with the courts; serving court papers and furnishing case schedules and notices of hearings to issuing summonses, subpoenas and warrants; managing deposits of money for court-related costs and issuing auto and other vehicle titles and passports.
A longtime Oakwood resident, Foley is ideally qualified for the Montgomery County Clerk of Courts, which is an administrative position that requires management, leadership and customer service skills. After earning a business degree from Ohio State University and serving in the United States Army and then the Ohio National Guard, he embarked on an entrepreneurial path that saw him work in restaurant franchise management, including the launch of the initial First Watch restaurants in the Dayton area. He now operates a network of tax and accounting offices along with a health insurance practice.
With experience cultivated by that background, and his tenure as the Deputy Registrar spearheading the Bureau of Motor Vehicles in Huber Heights from 1999 to 2011, Foley understands how to provide sound management, leadership and customer service for a government entity with the foresight of a private business owner.
“When I had the contract to operate the BMV, we shared an office with the clerk’s title office, and I saw an array of inefficiencies in how that office was run,” said Foley, whose 13-year-old daughter attends Oakwood schools. “With my business knowledge, I will focus on controlling costs, upgrading technology, improving customer service and providing hands-on leadership.”
If elected, Foley will turn over the operations of his businesses to his general manager and devote all of his energy to the Montgomery County Clerk of Courts.
Government offices are not commonly associated with warm and efficient customer service. Foley wants to change that
“Giving excellent customer service and obtaining customer feedback are both paramount to the success and growth of any operation,” Foley explained. “I will bring my experience and ideals as a small business owner to the Clerk’s office and create an atmosphere that promotes a positive customer experience.”
Technology is an important element in improving the Clerk of Courts’ service, Foley believes.
“Technology offers numerous opportunities to maximize efficiency, which saves taxpayers money,” Foley said. “I think it is vital to bring all of the courts’ records online, which will benefit residents and lawyers. Technology is constantly evolving. We must embrace it in the public sector as we do in the private sector.”
Foley will implement cross-training programs to further bolster the quality of the Clerk of Courts office’s day-to-day operations and customer service, he says.
“My business background is mostly in the service industry, so not only do I have the versatile abilities that range from accounting, finance, marketing and human resources, but I also understand how to inspire staff members to devote themselves to friendly customer service,” Foley said. “I believe a government office should embrace the refined management techniques of a private sector company with the attentive customer service of a small business. Those are skills and traits a person develops as a small business owner, not as a longtime government employee.”