Archives for: February 2012
This is part of a series of interviews of those candidates who are running for elected office in Collin County, Texas. The information in this article is based on materials and interviews provided by the candidate. If you would like to be interviewed by the Collin County Observer, please email your request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sharon Ramage, 51, met with me so that I could learn about her and her candidacy. She has been married to her husband, Todd for over twelve years and together they have twin daughters, Sarah and Rachel, who are ten years of age. A resident of Frisco, Texas, she and her family are parishioners at St. Jude’s Catholic Church where she is a Sunday School teacher.
Ramage graduated in 1988, from the University of Texas – Arlington with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work. She earned her law degree from Baylor School of Law, was on the Law Review Editorial Board, and graduated with high honors in 1992. She has been a licensed attorney in the State of Texas for almost 20 years.
Ramage launched her legal career as a Tarrant County Prosecutor for 5 years where she prosecuted and tried thousands of criminal cases including misdemeanor and felony crimes. For two of those years, Sharon worked in the Crimes Against Children Division where she prosecuted child homicides and sex crimes against minors.
She has been in private practice for 15 years where she practiced in the areas of criminal defense, civil law, and family law. Currently, she provides representation in criminal appellate matters and family law.
Sharon has served as lead counsel in over 100 jury trials and in countless bench trials, contested hearings, and appeals. Most importantly, states Ramage, is her position, which she has held since 2003, as a Special Education Hearing Officer for the State of Texas, presiding as a judge over complex, contested hearings involving public schools and the education of children with disabilities. She is a frequently requested speaker and author at the National Administrative Law Judge conferences on hearing management and evidence.
She has served as a mediator, and this, Ramage believes, is another qualification that contributed to her ability to be a good listener and permits her to be objective when rendering decisions as a judge.
As the owner of an office building, Ramage stated that she also has experience in running a business. She owns an office building and is the president of the association of owners of the office park where her building is located. She understands the day to day needs of effectively and efficiently maintaining the operation of a business. Sharon believes she can apply this experience in managing the day to day operations of the court.
She will follow the law as written and as set forth by the Texas Legislature and the Constitution. Ramage believes it is not the job of a judge to legislate from the bench. She wants each and every citizen to have the opportunity to be heard with respect and objectivity.
Ramage is proud of her endorsements from a range of supporters, including the Texas Home School Association PAC, local attorneys from the civil, family and criminal bar associations, and local business and community leaders.
When asked why she believes she is the best qualified among all the candidates for County Court at Law #2, Sharon finds that although all of the candidates bring some qualifications to the table, she is the best candidate because she:
- has the most experience practicing law as a licensed attorney than all of the other candidates combined;
- is an experienced judicial officer hearing and deciding cases with her 9 years of experience as an Administrative Law Judge;
- has experience in criminal and civil litigation;
- has practiced criminal law for 20 years, prosecuting and defending cases in trial, and prosecuting and defending criminal matters on appeal;
- has the greatest diversity of experience in all areas of the law that are within the jurisdiction of CCL#2; and
- has the ability to be a civil and objective listener to all sides of a controversy.
For more information about Sharon Ramage and her candidacy for CCL#2, please see her website at http://sharonramageforjudge.com/.
Sonja Hammer passed away last night after a long battle with illness.
Sonja was a "true citizen watch dog".
She fought Plano for years to open city records and meetings, and her efforts helped make the citizens better learn the issues in Plano.
Not too long ago, the Plano City "Special Recognition" was given to her by Mayor Dyer and the Plano City Council for being a "timeless champion of open and transparent municipal government".
While she was often an outspoken critic of the city council, she loved Plano. For many years, she volunteered for her city. She served on the Senior Citizens Advisory Board from 2005 - 2009, and she was a graduate of the City of Plano Citizens Academy.
She had been a long time member of the Mary Shirley McGuire Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
Last year, the City Council and Mayor Dyer named her an "Outstanding Plano Citizen". In the proclamation:
OUTSTANDING PLANO CITIZEN
WHEREAS, Sonja Hammar has been an active member of the Pl&no community as
a volunteer, advocate, and Senior Citizens Advisory Board member, and
WHEREAS, Sonja is a champion of open and transparent municipal government, working
to improve the way information Is delivered to Plano residents, which has been an asset
in helping the City of Plano improve its communication with the citizens; and
WHEREAS, her interest in the city website has ensured the timely dispersing of City Council and Boards and Commissions agendas and minutes; and
WHEREAS, Sonja can be counted on to see the many sides of discussions involving city policies, particularly those affecting senior residents; and
WHEREAS, Sonja has been tirelessly active in supporting and promoting issues
concerning the city's senior residents; and
WHEREAS, she has worked diligently 10 insure that seniors who are not able to drive have some form of transportation to get their medical appointments end important
WHEREAS, Sonja's tireless work with all issues that impact Plano, especially the
elderly in our community is an inspiration t0 all who come in contact with her;
NOW, THEREFORE,I, PHIL DYER, MAYOR OF THE CITY OF PLANO, TEXAS, do hereby bestow Special Recognition upon Sonja Hammar for the outstanding efforts she puts forth on behalf of City of Plano issues involving our senior citizens, and I do thereby encourage all citizens t0 join me and the City Council in recognizing and honoring Sonja's work. You make City a better place
Office of the Mayor
Her ashes will be interned today (Friday) at the Restland Funeral Home in Dallas at 3:00 PM. There are no scheduled services.
She did "make the City a better place."