Clerk of Courts Marcia M. Johnson won’t be running for re-election next year, setting the stage for a spirited battle to succeed her.
Now in her fourth four-year-term, Johnson said she is determined to complete the current term with the same work ethic she has displayed since being elected in 2004.
“I believe I have served the public well, and I will focus on providing quality services until my last day in office” she said. “I am grateful to the citizens who put their faith in me and grateful for my wonderful staff who work very hard to help all our citizens, and I think 2020 is the time to retire and allow someone else to have a career.”
As of now, two deputy clerks - Erin Griffith and Michele Maxwell - have expressed interest in running for the clerks’ position. Qualifying to run for the partisan office won’t be until June 2020.
Johnson’s career began in the clerk’s office in 1974 at age 17, when then-Clerk Bobby Howell, hired her, and she went on to work for two more clerks, Pal Rivers and Kendall Wade.
Johnson said she is proud to have taken an active hand in the office’s progression to the computer age, because in the early days of her employment, there were no computers nor copy machines, and typewriters were much less advanced. She adapted to the technology advances over the years, and with the recent addition of digital records online, ahead of many of the 67 Florida counties, she has worked to ensure the public has access to records in her office while respecting confidentiality.
She has enhanced the clerk’s website during her tenure; court records are now electronically filed. As the courts have gone paperless, and the ability to search official and public records online completed, all records legally allowed to be online are there at www.franklinclerk.com/records-search. Floridians can make payments for child support and traffic fines online as well.
Johnson’s statewide recognitions have put the county’s court system on the map statewide. She received a special recognition award for the year 2010-11 for chairing the Florida Court Clerks & Comptrollers’ Best Practices Committee, an outstanding service award in 2012, was selected as Clerk of the Year in 2014, and served on the organization’s executive committee and board of directors, as well as statewide president in 2017-18. She remains a member of the board of directors, chairs the nominating committee, and remains active on various other committees.
Johnson and husband Robbie, have three sons, Brock, Brett, and Brad, and five grandchildren, Alexus, Abby, Averie, Brody and Easton.
Florida clerks provide important services that affect public safety, commerce, and access to justice, performing more than 900 constitutional and statutory functions and duties, not including responsibilities required by court rules and administrative orders.
As clerk of the circuit and county court, the job also serves as recorder of deeds, clerk to the county commission, and accountant and custodian of county funds. The clerk also pre-audits county expenditures, handles marriage licenses, passports, and tax deeds, and compiles and provides statistical data for state agencies and the judiciary.