Council for America My Country
"To Empower to Practise Good Citizenship"

965 Clover Court, Blue Bell, PA 19422 T: (610) 277-0149 F: (610) 277-3992

Jerry Boucher
Im Ja P. Choi
Don Kim
Il Hwan Kim
Sang Joo Kim
Director for Systems Management
Deputy Director for Community Relation
(215) 542 - 1000
Director for Outreach
Tae Shik Kwon
Jae Jin Ma
Young K. Park
Ae Sook Yoon
Director for Community Relations
Director for Ageing & Elder Care
October 11, 1999

[Editor's note: The following is the text, as submitted by author, of the Q & A of Stephen G. Burns, a Democratic candidate for Clerk of Courts, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, responding to the CAMC's questions. sjk]

CAMC: Why are you running for the public office?
Burns: I have been a practicing attorney since 1976. I currently am a partner of the firm of Burns & Kasmen in Jenkintown. I am a magna laude graduate of Princeton University and a graduate of Columbia University School of Law in New York City. Prior to setting up practice in Jenkintown in 1998, I held a number of positions in private industry, law firms and government. I was previously the Deputy General Counsel of a public company based in Montgomery County. I was also a partner in the Philadelphia-based law firm of Dilworth Paxson Kalish & Kaufman. I spent almost five years working for the federal government as Senior Counsel for Corporate Affairs of the Resolution Trust Corporation where I managed a fifty person department providing legal services for almost 100 savings and loan receiverships. At the RTC I was responsible for overseeing the expenditure of more than $100 million for legal services. I have been active in my community, serving as a little league baseball and softball coach for many years. I am also active in my synagogue, having recently served as the treasurer. I am currently a member of the board of directors and chairperson of the finance committee. My wife Arlene is a speech pathologist. I have two children who attend Cheltenham Township schools.
CAMC: What will you bring about, if elected, to the office?
  1. I am running for public office so that we can restore professionalism to our elected row officer positions. For more than 100 years the Republicans have controlled the Courthouse, paying first allegiance to the wishes of party leaders rather than to the taxpayers of Montgomery County and hiring only Republicans to work in the Courthouse. I am running as a member of the Democratic Team 2000, pledged to placing professionalism over patronage and to preserving the open spaces of Montgomery County.
  2. If elected, I will immediately evaluate all aspects of the operations of the Clerk of Court to determine what changes may be necessary to make the office operate more efficiently and effectively. We need to determine whether the needs of the citizens who have business with the Clerk's Office are being met. Since the Republicans have always controlled the Clerk's office, it is difficult to determine in advance what changes will be needed. However, two issues are known. First, the clerk has not done enough to collect the hundreds of thousands of dollars that are owed to the County by bail bond insurance companies for defendants who have skipped bail. Second, the clerk has not adequately kept track of fines owed to the County nor made adequate efforts to pursue defendants who have not paid their court-ordered fines. Simply correcting these two major deficiencies will increase the revenue generated by the Clerk of Court, and thereby reduce the burden of county taxes.
CAMC: Why should this community support you?
Burns: The community should support me because the Democratic Team 2000 candidates are committed to having open government, to hiring the best people available (not just hiring Republicans) for County positions, to placing the taxpayers (and not the political party) first, and to bringing professionalism to the row officer positions.
CAMC: Why should this community not support your opponent?
Burns: My opponent, Ms. Markley, has failed to collect defaulted bail bond money owed to the County as reported in the Philadelphia Inquirer . She is part of the Republican party which has controlled Montgomery County for more than 100 years and which values patronage more than professionalism. The Republican County Commissioners in 1998 reinstated Ms. Markley's son as a county employee after he was convicted of stealing money from his volunteer fire company. There are many law-abiding, hard-working people who would have been great county employees, but the Republican party chose to reward a family member. This attitude of taking care of the family and friends of Republican elected officials has no place in county government as we move into the 21st century.
CAMC: What commitment do you offer to this community for its support?
Burns: As a resident of Cheltenham Township for 21 years, I have chosen to live in a vibrant, multi-cultural community which takes its strength from the many groups who live in the township. I will listen to the concerns of the Korean community. I will meet with representatives of the community to address any issue which you may have concerning the operation of the office of the Clerk of Court. Most importantly, I commit to managing the office with professionalism and respect for all citizens of Montgomery County. I commend you for your efforts to encourage the community to take a more active role in government.


This page last updated 10/27/1999 jdb