Paula O’Neil wants something from Pasco residents.
The Republican is is seeking another four years as the county's Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller, a title which only touches on the position's responsibilities.
She’s held the office since being elected to the job in 2008. O’Neil is running against contender Roberta Cutting.
“I care about my community,” O’Neil said. “Which is why I ran in the first place. Which is why I work for government.”
O’Neil, 56, moved to Pasco County from Missouri in 1987. She worked for the county government for more than 20 years before her election to Clerk in 2008.
Her career before the 2008 election included time in the community services and parks and recreation department. She served as chief deputy clerk of the circuit court from 2002 to 2008.
In her current position, O’Neil is not only responsible for acting as clerk of the circuit and county court, but recorder of deeds, clerk, accountant and custodian for county funds and county auditor.
She has been overseeing the modernization of the computerized court case record system. It's a project that has taken years and hasn't reached completion. O'Neil wants to continue overseeing the transformation.
“It will give more access to the to the public,” she said. Access will be quicker, too, she said.
She’s already had a big hand in bringing Pasco into the 21st century through implementation of electronic filing and recording programs.
She said her best accomplishment was bringing a new leadership team to her office and creating a call center exclusively for customer service in her department.
O’Neil touts her experience and education as assets. Since her election in 2008, she earned her doctorate in applied management and decision sciences.
O’Neil is active in the Pasco County community, and it has helped in the job, she says. She sits on the Board of Directors for Florida West Coast Credit Union, Pasco Safety Town, Central Florida Behavioral Health Network, and the Florida Society for Certified Public Managers. She also sits on the Advisory Board for Information Technology at Pasco-Hernando Community College and the Advisory Board for Criminal Justice for Rasmussen College.
“I make decisions based on what I see in the community,” she said
The Tampa Bay Times endorsed her for the position of Clerk and praised her advocacy for the community.
She “encouraged Pasco commissioners to invest in community mental health counseling and substance abuse treatment after some board members were reluctant to apply for a grant to serve the chronically homeless, “ according to the Times.