Gen Tuma Seeks Fifth Term as Clerk of District Court
Tom Morton, Townsquare Media
Gen Tuma has the experience and the drive to seek a fifth term as the keeper of court records for Natrona County.
"I've been the clerk for 16 years, and I've worked in this office for 39," Tuma said. "And I enjoy it.I like the work. I like the people, and I want to do it for four more years."
The Natrona County Clerk of District Court keeps the legal records of the county dating to the 1890s. Those records include civil, criminal, probate, paternity, juvenile and adoption, according to the office's website.
Tuma is running for a fifth term. She is unopposed in the Aug. 19 Republican primary and unopposed in the Nov. 4 general election. If re-elected, she will earn $90,000 a year.
She oversees a staff of 14 including herself, which is down from 18 a few years ago, she said. The budget is set by the Natrona County Commission, and currently amounts to a little over a million dollars a year, she said.
In recent years, she oversaw the move from the old courthouse to the Townsend Justice Center across the street in 2009. The move resulted in more space, but less direct contact with the public with the Townsend's security system.
"I don't like it, but I understand it," Tuma said. "And the fact that I have the security allows me to be so much more comfortable. I know they can't jump the counter and grab me by the throat."
Tuma also helped the county save hundreds of thousands of dollars by working with the commissioners to change the system of court-appointed attorneys. Those attorneys had been on a contract basis. Depending on the type of cases, could cost more than what was budgeted resulting in frequent appeals to the commissioners for more money, she said. "It was an arterial bleed."
Now, the county has set up a group of attorneys who do the court-appointed work on a month-by-month basis, she said
The most intense current project involves her office, the other 22 clerks of court and the Wyoming Supreme Court, to upgrade their computer systems. After six years, people can look up statewide district court records from Casper without having to travel or call other counties. Eventually, people will be able to search court documents on their computers from home, she said.
This compels her the most to seek another term, she said. "I can't walk away from it, as tiring as putting six years of your life into doing something is and as frustrating as it can be and as great as it can be the other parts of the time."