Jones seeks clerk’s seat

By PAID POLITICAL ANNOUNCEMENT,

Monica Prewitt Jones, current deputy chancery clerk of Carroll County, is currently seeking the seat of chancery clerk in the upcoming Democratic primary.

Jones, a longtime resident of Carroll County, has served as deputy chancery clerk since 2016, and prior to that, she was a deputy assessor/collector for the Carroll County Tax Assessor/Collector’s office.  She said her experience in both the chancery clerk’s office and in the tax assessor/collector’s office makes her uniquely qualified to serve as the next Carroll County Chancery Clerk.

“As deputy tax assessor/collector, I gained experience in establishing property lines, mapping protocol, how property taxes are figured, and about homestead exemptions,” Jones said.  “As deputy chancery clerk, I learned how those things work on another level.  We send out the homestead charge back, and I have worked with property owners in explaining that they are not losing their exemption.  It helps ease their minds a little that I have background in the tax office.”

Coming to work for Carroll County in 2013 was an opportunity that presented itself to Jones at a time when she wanted to be closer to home.  Little did she know, she settled into her role as civil servant quickly, learning as much as she could from former Carroll County Tax Assessor/Collector Pam Mann, current Carroll County Tax Assessor/Collector Wilton Neal, and longtime Carroll County Chancery Clerk Sugar Mullins.

After graduating from Carroll Academy, Jones continued her education at Mississippi Delta Community College at Moorhead, where she received her Associates Degree as a medical laboratory technician.  She served in that capacity for 13 years at Greenwood Children’s Clinic.

In 2013, she accepted a position at the tax assessor/collector’s office.  She said she wanted to work closer to home.

“My children are at Carroll Academy,” Jones said.  “I wanted to be closer to them, and I could be able to attend more of their activities.”

In 2016, she said she received a call from Mullins about an opening as a deputy chancery clerk.

“I prayed about it all that week,” Jones remembered.  “I thought about the position as a way I could better myself, while still serving the people of Carroll County.  I love working with the public.”

She accepted the position, and from there she learned the inner workings of the Carroll County Chancery Clerk’s office.

As deputy chancery clerk, Jones handles filing chancery court records on the Mississippi Electronic Courts, records land deeds, collects delinquent land taxes, and helps inform the land owners of properties that are in jeopardy of being lost. 

“We start in February every year sending letters to the land owners with three years delinquent taxes to get them in the office to catch up the taxes so they will not lose the property to the tax buyer,” Jones said.  “We do all we can because the last thing we want to see is a Carroll County land owner lose their land.”

Jones also files all criminal – circuit and civil – cases not filed digitally, assists the county’s bookkeeper with end of the month accounting, and she facilitates reporting for three grants awarded to Carroll County.  She also assists citizens who visit the chancery clerk’s office in Carrollton.

If elected Carroll County’s Chancery Clerk, Jones will work to create a Carroll County website and digitalize land records to make them more readily available to the public.  In addition, she wants to include access to various maps of the county like land use, flood plain, and boundary lines.

With her experience as deputy chancery clerk, Jones said she is keenly aware of what the job of chancery clerk involves.

“The chancery clerk is also the clerk of the board of supervisors,” Jones said.  “This is not just about keeping minutes.  You have to follow through with the board’s orders and ensure the supervisors’ orders are carried out correctly.”

Jones said the clerk also serves as comptroller and county administrator, roles that oversee all county personnel, accounts payable, and accounts receivable.

All of these things are juggled between chancery and circuit court – with chancery court in session twice per month and circuit court twice per year.

“Since we serve as clerks for both chancery and circuit courts that convene at the Carrollton Courthouse, we also send out the jury summons for circuit court and file papers for both courts,” Jones said.

When she learned that Mullins planned to retire at the end of this term and not seek re-election, Jones said she immediately started praying, and after much prayer, reflection, and discussion with her family and respected friends, she decided to seek the position of chancery clerk.

“I felt that is why God moved me to the tax assessor/collector’s office and then to the chancery clerk’s office,” Jones said.  “With Sugar’s retirement, I felt that was God telling me he had a plan for me.”

If elected chancery clerk, Jones said the transition of clerks will be smooth and seamless.

“Experience matters,” Jones said.  “With my years of working as deputy clerk, I can easily step into the role of chancery clerk and work with Sugar in making sure that service to the people of Carroll County goes on without interruption.”

Jones said her roots “run deep” in Carroll County, especially with her Duke ancestry which is one of the oldest families in the county.  The daughter of Earl and Dorothy “DotDot” Prewitt, she grew up in Teoc.

Married to Kenny Jones, who is employed with Jones Electrical Supply, a family-owned business in Greenwood, the couple has two daughters, Kendi Brook, 17, and Anna Lauren, 13.

“I was born to be a momma,” Jones said.  “I’m the mom who runs to as many ballgames I can make it to.  My daughters are both dancers, and one plays softball, so we are always going to one game or another.”

When not in the chancery clerk’s office or cheering her children on as they participate in their various activities, Jones is an active member of Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church.  Not only has she served as church treasurer for more than 10 years, she is the children’s director, Bible School director, and assistant youth director.  She also serves on the Who Where When Committee for the Carroll Montgomery Baptist Association.

Strong in her faith, Jones said she always returns to one verse of scripture to lead her in her busy life.

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. [6] In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3:5

“That is the verse I always turn to,” Jones said.  “Trust the Lord.”

Jones said as her campaign prepares for the August primary, she hopes to meet as many Carroll County citizens as possible.

“I hope to see everyone,” Jones said.  “If I do miss someone, I encourage calls and emails for anyone who wants to hear more about what I can bring to the office of chancery clerk, and I humbly ask for your vote and support as the next chancery clerk of Carroll County.”

Jones can be reached by calling 662-417-6099 and emailing monicapjones@hotmail.com.