COMMENTARY: Clerk And Master's Job — What I've Heard

KEVIN HALPERN, Courier Co-Editor

Not a day has gone by recently when I haven't been asked if I know who the next Clerk and Master for Cannon County will be.

Well I don't know, and as far as I know, nobody else does yet either — possibly even the person who will make the decision.

Since I don't have any hard facts, I will pass along what I've heard, given that whatever I hear is likely spread around town before it reaches my ears.

The current Clerk and Master, Harold Patrick, who resigned effective June 30 but agreed to stay on an extra week until his replacement was named, does not know, and is as anxious as anybody in the county to find out.

I know that the deadline for applications was this past Wednesday, July 7.

I've heard there has been a large number of applicants for the position, including many from persons who live outside Cannon County.

I've heard that Chancellor Robert Corlew, who will make the selection, has told people close to him that it is one of the most difficult decisions he has ever had to make, due to the fact he has had a long professional and/or personal relationship with several of the people who have applied.

I've heard the names of several people who have either applied for the job, or expressed an interest, those being in no particular order: Douglas Jennings, Steve Smith, Dana Davenport, Nathan Nichols, Bill Bryson, Andy Bryson and Dale Peterson.

I've received e-mails or had people tell me that first Jennings, and then Smith, are Corlew's choice, but there has been nothing official to confirm those rumors.

I know what Corlew has said are the qualifications and expertise he is looking for in the person he selects:

"Because the Clerk and Master deals with civil legal issues and accountings which are filed in estate matters, particular attention will be given to those candidates who have particular experience in these areas. The demonstrated ability to work well with members of the public is also important."

Patrick has said that the docket for Chancery Court for Monday (July 10) is one of the largest he has ever compiled.

That should make for an interesting Monday morning, since Patrick has also said he has no desire or plans to continue and is anxious to devote his energies to his other role as the Mayor of Woodbury.

Maybe by then I'll be able to report what I know — that Corlew has named someone to the position — rather than what I've heard, none of which has been much of a secret to anyone following the situation.