Welcome to my new campaign website. It is a work in progress, and I added a link to make it easier for my supporters to make contributions to my re-election campaign.
I am excited about everything I've been working on coming to fruition in the next couple of years. Installing a new case management system is a major chore. The County is working on a fully-integrated justice system with the court files as the basis.
We now have mandatory e-filing for both civil and criminal cases. We are already paperless on the civil side of the office, so we now need to work on becoming paperless on the criminal side.
There's much more to be done, and I will work hard to keep progressing into this century by updating technology and continuing encouraging our efficient and friendly co-workers.
Thanks for your support,
Donna Kay McKinney, District Clerk, files for Re-Election Run
SAN ANTONIO, TX (November 11, 2017) –
Bexar County District Clerk Donna Kay McKinney announced today that she will run for a third term. “I hope to remain serving the citizens of Bexar County using my pro-business policy with a focus on technology. I have a clear vision of how to improve the efficiency of operations, along with a goal of unmatched customer service,” McKinney said. “My door continues to be open at all times, and I’m proud to say that I’ve kept my promise to the citizens of Bexar County, to prepare for the future while preserving the past and saving taxpayers’ money at the same time,” McKinney stated emphatically.
According to McKinney, through her request for updates in technology, the District Clerk’s office is getting much closer to becoming a truly paperless system. McKinney adds that in addition to increasing the ability to use credit cards for payments, she also provides more information on the district clerk’s website, including printable “fill-in-the-blank” forms as well as searches for civil and criminal case information.
McKinney has been honored with awards, while also being named to statewide boards during her tenure in office. “I’m humbled to have received these honors and encouraged to strive to do more,” McKinney explained.
Future projects planned by McKinney include a pilot program to provide access to copies of documents on the Internet, installing a new case management system, completing the preservation of all pre-1900 case files, and digitizing all post-1900 case files. “We must keep progressing toward bringing the District Clerk’s office into the 21st Century,” she added.
McKinney further stated: “I believe that given my unique insight into the challenges that may arise when developing a system that allows open access to records, I understand the necessity to balance the privacy of certain personal information with the public’s interest in convenient access to those records.”
The Office of the District Clerk is elected for a four-year term and is primarily the Clerk for all District Courts that hear civil, criminal, juvenile, and family cases and is the custodian of these courts’ records. The district clerk must, among other things, record the acts and proceedings of the district court, enter all judgments of the court, record and issue all types of service on lawsuits, administer trust accounts ordered by the courts, keep an index of the parties to all lawsuits filed in the district courts, and keep an account of all funds collected by the office.
Donna Kay McKinney was elected to her first term as Bexar County District Clerk on November 2, 2010, taking office on January 1, 2011, and re-elected to her second four-year term beginning on January 1, 2015. Ms. McKinney earned both her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science and her Master's Degree in Public Administration at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), where she also taught Budget and Taxation as an adjunct professor.
Ms. McKinney has spent most of her adult life in public sector employment in all three branches of government. Her service includes working for the Texas Senate and the Texas House of Representatives along with the Bexar County offices of Commissioner’s Court, Tax-Assessor Collector, and District Clerk. She also served on the staff of the Judge of Bexar County’s Probate Court No. 2.
She served on the Supreme Court’s Texas Court Records Preservation Task Force, having been appointed by The Honorable Wallace B. Jefferson, former Chief Justice of The Supreme Court of Texas. The Task Force was formed to study and report on the preservation of historic Texas state district and county court records. Ms. McKinney was one of only two District Clerks asked to speak on her preservation efforts when the task force's first report was presented to a meeting of the Supreme Court of Texas. Ms. McKinney also was recently appointed to the Texas Court of Criminal Rules Advisory Committee.
Ms. McKinney also serves on the five-member board of The Hidalgo Foundation, a non-profit organization formed in 2001 by Founder and President Tracy Wolff with the mission of preserving and renovating the 120-year-old historic Bexar County Courthouse which is the oldest and largest continuously-operated historic courthouse in Texas.
In addition to her duties as District Clerk, Ms. McKinney has served on the Bexar County Bail Bond Board since 2011. The bail bond board oversees the various entities that operate bail bond companies and ensures those companies are in compliance with state laws that regulate fair bail bond business practices. She is currently the chair of the board, having been selected for this position by the other board members to begin serving in January 2015.
District Clerk Donna Kay McKinney continues with her plan to turn the District Clerk's office into a truly paperless system and to provide more information on the Internet. Since taking office, she has added the following information to the district clerk’s website; a week’s worth of civil and criminal dockets; all felony court records as an alphabetized spreadsheet dating back to 1974; and a combined civil and criminal search of the case listings of every document filed in each case. The ultimate goal is to make documents available for online viewing and printing, including being able to buy certified copies online. Her efforts to make public records truly public are a top priority as she believes the principle of liberty is open government and the free exchange of ideas and information. Ms. McKinney was recognized for her accomplishments and principles when she was presented with the Liberty Bell Award by the San Antonio Young Lawyers Association (SAYLA) in May 2013 and the Statewide Liberty Bell Award from the Texas Young Lawyers Association (TYLA) in June 2013.
Ms. McKinney understands the value of an open court system and convenient access to public judicial records and government transparency. Her experience in all three branches of local Texas government has given her unique insight into the challenges that may arise when developing a system that allows open access to records. She understands the necessity to balance the privacy of certain personal information contained in judicial records with the public interest in convenient access to those records. She strives to go above and beyond the minimum requirements of access under state law in order to ensure the public can access judicial records with minimal effort. Donna Kay McKinney will work to ensure an open court system in Bexar County in the future, just as she has done during her entire time in public service.
AS YOUR DISTRICT CLERK, I WILL KEEP MY PROMISE TO CONTINUE TO:
Save Money by Cutting the Budget
· Elimination of 14 vacant positions and other budget line item cuts Saved taxpayers nearly $2,000,000 in the last 3 years.
Improve Efficiency by Upgrading Technology
· Implemented a computerized filing system · Installed scanners in each Civil Court · Implemented E-notification
· Opened Presiding Court Satellite Office closer to the courts
· Program Manager for the Bexar County Stakeholders as we oversee the implementation of Mandatory E-filing in Civil Courts
Increase Public Access to Records Online
· Criminal and Civil District Courts’ dockets : http://gov.bexar.org/dc/dockets.html
PRESERVING THE PAST WHILE PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE
Preserve Our History
· Historic Bexar County District Court Minute Book – 1842 (displayed Statewide)
· 42 index and minute books (1836-1913)
· All the Republic of Texas lawsuits (1836-1845)
· Allow the viewing public records filed in the District Clerk’s office
· Facilitate the download or purchase of copies of public documents via the Internet
· Make the District Clerk’s records completely PAPERLESS