Category Archives: ChesCo row offices

Van de Krol looks to modernization, cost savings

By Michael Rellahan, Daily Local News, 5/15/18

WEST CHESTER >> Before Yolanda Van de Krol was elected Chester County Clerk of Courts in 2017, she was like most of her neighbors — slightly mystified about what, exactly, the clerk of courts did?

Since taking office, Van De Krol has taken it upon herself and her office not only to inform the public about what the office functions are, but to make it easier for people who come in contact with the court system to navigate its various passages and byways.

Within the past several weeks, Van de Krol’s and her staff have upgraded the office’s web site on, making forms and steps available for people who need to access the system, and preparing the way for a switch to an internet based, e-filing system that she foresees saving not only time but money.

“We have a nice long list of things we want to do to make the office more efficient and to save tax dollars,” Van de Krol said in an interview last week. “There is a lot of misconception about what we do, so we want to go about helping people who have to use the system.”

For those who don’t know, the Clerk of Courts manages all paperwork for all criminal cases in the county Court of Common Pleas, unlike the county Prothonotary, which handles those filing associated with civil cases. If you are appealing a speeding ticket from a District Court hearing, want to erase the records of that pesky drunk driving charge you got seven years ago, or — heaven forbid — are facing felony charges, the Clerk of Courts is where all records come and go….

keep reading at Daily Local News, 5/15/18

As Trump attacks Bannon, women Democrats in Philly suburbs take office after delicious revenge wins against the GOP

by Maria Panaritis,, 1/4/18. The title tells the 2017 story and read through the full article for the 2018 prediction, at the end:

…The lesson Wednesday, even as the president threatened to bury us all under a nuclear winter and went mano-a-mano with Bannon, is: If anyone feels the system is past the point of no return, look no further than the Pennsylvania suburbs of Philadelphia.

Good old-fashioned American democracy is alive and kicking. And it should make for an interesting 2018 — especially if Trump continues to offend reasonable Americans with incredible and insatiable ardor.

4 Dems take county offices

from East Goshen Democrats:

Congratulations again to Treasurer Patricia Maisano, Clerk of Courts Yolanda Van de Krol, Coroner Dr. Christina VandePol, and Controller Margaret Reif. Seen here with Brian McGinnis, chairman of the Chester County Democrats.

Democrats gather to celebrate historic wins

On November 15, Chester County Democrats gathered at Barnaby’s in West Chester to recognize their winners in the election eight days earlier and also hear a moving tribute paid by Commissioner Kathi Cozzone to the much-honored Adam Swope, tragically killed by an overturned truck just four days earlier. “What Would Adam Do?.” in Kathi’s formulation, is a worthy guide for Democratic office-holders and activists in the days and years ahead.

Particularly celebrated were the four first Democrats to hold Chester County row offices. The first, that is, to defeat Republicans in the general election, because in the now-discontinued position of Jury Commissioner, two individuals of different parties were elected, the Dem for many years being Martha S. Smith (who also long managed the CCDC office on S. High St.).

Why are the countywide offices called “row offices? Because, so it is said, the offices were once located in a row along a hallway of the former Court House building in the center of West Chester.

There are now nine row offices. The ones up for election two years from now are: District Attorney, Sheriff, Prothonotary, Register of Wills, and Recorder of Deeds. The three County Commissioner seats, of which no more than two may be held by members of the same party, will also be on the 2019 ballot.

So now Democrats are celebrating wins by those pictured below (with thanks to Diane Welsh for these two photos):

Coroner-elect Christina VandePol, Clerk of Courts-elect Yolanda Van de Krol, and Controller-elect Margaret Reif watch the results coming in on election eve with supporters

The same three join forces on Nov. 15.

Treasurer-elect Patricia Maisano happened to miss both photos; here is a file photo of her:

Those offices may have been somewhat mysterious to Democrats in the past. Now we will be able to bring, to you and the rest of the public, news direct from the office-holders.

Row office history artifact, Martha Smith’s 2009 campaign handout: