HomeNewsGeorgetownJP3: “Apples-to-Apples” with Deanna Lewis and Evelyn McLean

JP3: “Apples-to-Apples” with Deanna Lewis and Evelyn McLean

DEANNA LEWIS

What are your first/immediate priorities when you take office.

Meeting with each staff member within JP3 to explore their roles. I am interested in hearing what each staff member feels is working well and what areas can be improved upon. My career and life experience have taught me processes need to be continually reviewed and improved upon to ensure continued success. It is my belief Judge Gravell has instilled a culture of growth and development with the operations of JP3. It is my sincere desire and goal to continue that culture as we move forward in January of 2019. Another priority would be to reach out to our county, community and faith based organizations to see where we can work together for the betterment of our county. Seeking opportunities for these important conversations will make me a better person, a better Judge and a better servant to the citizens of Williamson County.

Describe the experience in leadership and management you believe will help you direct the JP3 office.

My passion and drive to accomplish goals at work and in my personal life will help direct me to lead JP3 office. Over the years,  have led Girl Scouts, coached youth sports, and served on the boards for the Texas Association of School Resource Officers and Williamson County Deputies Association and the Sheriff’s Honor Guard. Leadership and service to community are an integral part of me which my father instilled in me as a Texas DPS Trooper. Dad taught me from an early age leadership is combination of being the person who does the right thing and leads by example. He also taught me “being the boss” does not make you a leader. People want to follow natural leaders who have a heart and passion for service. I will bring these qualities to the office of JP3.

The JP3 court is the likeliest place for most citizens to come before a judge. Tell us your thoughts on being relatable to people who come to your court.

Having a courtroom atmosphere that is welcoming, while remaining balanced and fair are important qualities to me. Important decisions are made from the bench. Those decisions need to be made with careful thought and without bias. I am a people person. My life and career experience have taught me sometimes good people make mistakes. Often folks want to feel like they are simply being heard, regardless of their social, economic, racial, educational or other backgrounds. Sometimes, even when they know they were in the wrong, they simply want to be heard. I believe in talking with people, not at people. People make mistakes or due to circumstances end up in front of the bench. They need to be heard and rulings need to be made within the confines of the law exercised with grace.

As a Peace Officer you often interact with the public on their “worst day”. I have over two decades of “worst days” as preparation for the challenges of being your next Justice of the Peace.

I have experienced challenges in my life directly and indirectly that have also prepared me to relate to people that come before the bench. In a political arena, our lives are open for review. I have worked since I was 15, been married to the military and dealt with deployments, divorced, a single parent, remarried, worked too many hours just to make ends meet. I volunteer and help where I can, and often times do not say no often enough. I can relate to a lot of people’s life circumstances.

EVELYN MCLEAN

What are your first/immediate priorities when you take office.

I am coming into an award-winning office, so I do not want to start arbitrarily making changes. I will take some time to analyze the budget, understand the current processes, and get to know each employee.  I want to conduct a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis of sorts to get a good understanding of what the employees perceive to be the strengths of the office, any potential weaknesses, opportunities to become even better, or any threats we need to address.

Secondly, I would like to explore the possibility of a volunteer program for the JP3 office.  In my experience, it’s an opportunity to increase customer service to our citizens without financially impacting the county.

Describe the experience in leadership and management you believe will help you direct the JP3 office.

I have experience in budget, personal management, policy development, strategic planning, and major project & incident management. As a member of the Executive Command Staff for Georgetown Police Department, I help to prepare and manage our over $15,000,000 annual police budget. I command half of the entire Georgetown Police Department, which is 58 people, both sworn and civilian.  Currently, I oversee the Criminal Investigations Division, the Deployment Team, Property & Evidence, Crime Scene, Victim’s Services, Communications, Records, Animal Services, the Community Engagement Division, and the School Resource Officers.

The JP3 court is the likeliest place for most citizens to come before a judge. Tell us your thoughts on being relatable to people who come to your court. 

The Justice of the Peace Court has been referred to as the people’s court. It has been called this because trials can be “pro se”, meaning they are not required to have an attorney represent. I want to create an environment that puts everyone at ease, while still maintaining the courtroom decorum.  Court is not an everyday activity for most, so I will display compassion to the defendant while explaining the process in order for he/she to better understand the court procedure.  I want people to walk away feeling like they were treated with respect and received a fair & impartial hearing.

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