Image: Montgomery County District Clerk candidate Melisa Miller with husband Jason.
UPDATE: At the request of several dozen readers, this newspaper has updated this article by adding an additional paragraph at the end.
Conroe, July 24 – A personal dispute, technology, and reform are the issues highlighting the District Clerk race for the March 6, 2018, Republican Primary Election between incumbent District Clerk Barbara Gladden Adamick and her former Manager Melisa Miller who says that she left the District Clerk’s Office on June 30, 2017, after Adamick gave her an ultimatum on May 12 either to drop out of the District Clerk race or lose her job. Miller requested a transfer to the County Clerk’s office and took a substantial reduction in her pay at the time.
Both experienced and qualified candidates; the dispute
Both Adamick and Miller are highly experienced and qualified candidates for the position of District Clerk. Arguably, this race involves the two most qualified candidates for District Clerk among any two people in the entire community. Adamick has worked in the Montgomery County court system since 1975. She worked as a Deputy Clerk for longtime District Clerk Peggy Stevens and as a Court Coordinator for the 284th District Court when Olen Underwood was the District Judge of that court. In 1997, Adamick became the District Clerk by appointment when Stevens retired. Adamick ran for the countywide position in 1998 and has won election every four years since then. Adamick has brought substantial reforms to the District Clerk’s Office and has presided over a major increase in the size of that office to accommodate the County’s burgeoning litigation.
Miller worked for Adamick for 18 years. She is a 1996 graduate of Conroe High School. She rose to the position of Office Manager of the District Clerk, which was similar to a chief deputy position. After the dispute between Miller and Adamick arose, Miller became a deputy County Clerk, which is the position she now holds.
Miller contends that Adamick had earlier encouraged Miller to run for District Clerk and told her that she intended to retire. Adamick told The Golden Hammer, “While I did encourage Melisa to start to attend Republican functions, I never told her that I was not going to run again in 2018. I’m disappointed in the way that Melisa handled this situation.” Miller, and two confidential sources inside the District Clerk’s Office, have told The Golden Hammer that Adamick did tell people inside the District Clerk’s Office that Adamick intended to retire and was endorsing Miller as her replacement. Adamick, of course, denies that.
Technology and reform
The Montgomery County District Clerk’s Office has a case and file retrieval system that seems a bit more difficult to utilize than many other District Clerk’s Offices. The Harris County District Clerk’s Office has one of the most accessible file retrieval systems in Texas. Former Harris County District Clerk Loren Jackson designed and programmed that system himself, although he was defeated for re-election in a Republican sweep during a General Election.
For years, attorneys and litigants in Montgomery County have complained about the District Clerk’s computer system. It has greatly improved during the past two years, especially with the implementation of Tyler Technologies’ Odyssey system, an integrated system which the courts and the public utilize for all of the counts other than four of the Justice of the Peace courts, which still utilize an antiquated database system which is not available to the public at all.
Miller has argued that the District Clerk’s Office requires substantial reform, cost efficiency, and a move towards modern technology. Longtime Conroe resident Kathleen Towery, who is managing Miller’s campaign, said, “This young lady is ready to step up and make some improvements.” Miller has raised $10,083.83 during the past six months, according to her campaign finance filing. Adamick has not yet begun her re-election campaign.
UPDATE: No Davenport connection
Several dozen readers have asked The Golden Hammer whether candidate Melisa Miller has any connection to local political boss and consultant Marc Davenport, because his and his wife’s involvement in County government matters has become a major issue in the 2018 Republican Primary Election. This newspaper agrees that removing the Davenports from the Montgomery County government is a major element of cleaning up the corruption.
Melisa Miller has confirmed that she has no connection to Marc Davenport whatsoever.
Adamick also confirmed that she has no connection to Davenport. Her confirmation was rather emphatic.