Paramore announces re-election bidPublished 8:35pm Tuesday, January 21, 2014
The first time Marty Paramore visited a courtroom, he wore a judge’s robe. Paramore was a fourth grader on a field trip at the time, but the event sparked an interest that would ultimately lead to a career in public service and two successful campaigns for Beaufort County Clerk of Court.
This week, Paramore announced his intention to seek the office for a third term. Paramore will face Eve Buck in the May Democratic primary. Buck, a former employee of the Beaufort County clerk’s office, announced her candidacy for the office in December.
Paramore’s announcement is part of the process. Campaigning, however, is something that he said should happen every day.
“What I mean is: during your life, you build a reputation that is based on your work ethic and how you treat people. When someone walks in my office, the first thing I ask is, ‘How can I help you?’ It is the thing that motivates me: every day I get the opportunity to help people,” Paramore said.
Paramore credits his ability to relate to the people he serves on a daily basis to his background: first, as a narcotics investigator with the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office then later, as a probation officer.
“(People) come to the courthouse for many reasons, mostly because they are going through a difficult time. I believe that all people deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, regardless of their walk in life. … I do my very best to treat people the way I would want to be treated if I was in their situation,” Paramore said.
It’s an attitude shared by clerk’s office staff — a team, Paramore said, that takes pride in its work for the public — and is instilled in the rotation of interns from nearby East Carolina University. Paramore, who served as an intern with the sheriff’s office when he was in college, enlisted the help of interns when recent budget cuts required the clerk’s office to downsize by three employees. These criminal justice students work without pay in exchange for experience, and learning that the duties of the clerk’s office entail a lot more than simply handling court paperwork, Paramore noted.
“While that is a big part of this job, there is so much more to it. During any given week, I may preside over an estate hearing, finalize an adoption, preside over a foreclosure, organize and prepare the jury for trial, preside over an incompetency hearing, or go to the jail and appoint an attorney to represent an indigent offender,” Paramore explained.
While Paramore said he is excited by the support he’s received from those encouraging his campaign for Clerk of Court, for him, a third term would be an opportunity to continue a tradition of public service.
“Someone told me once that I have a nice office in the courthouse,” Paramore said. “I responded, ‘This office is not mine. It belongs to the people. I just get to use it for a little while.’
“I have never lost sight that they are the ones that I am working for, and ultimately they decide my fate,” he added.