With Jeff Smith, the current Utah County Recorder stepping down we have a four-way race. Candidates range from many years working in the office to being totally from the outside. Here is a short write-up on each.
Andrea was born and raised in Spanish Fork and has worked for the county for the past thirty-eight years. She has been the assistant county recorder for the last five years. She thinks it is a great staff and enjoys working with them.
The first thing she wants to change with the office is to accept e-checks and credit cards. Currently, it is only cash or check. Andrea doesn’t want the county to pay the credit card fee, but the customer would take that on as well.
As the county has grown, there has been more growth in some areas than others. This is why Andrea wants to reallocate the areas that employees are assigned to, in order to better even out the workload, to make this office run better and to maintain the high standard.
Andrea feels that she is uniquely qualified by her time in the office, and all the relationships she has built. She has several endorsements including the current recorder Jeff Smith, county assessor Kris Poulson, county treasurer Kim Jackson and the county sheriff, Mike Smith.
Her convention speech can be found at https://youtu.be/lkMDr9UsoCc
Brian is the only candidate who doesn’t currently work in the recorder’s office, but he has worked for county commissioner Bill Lee for the last 5 years. He earned his undergraduate in political science from BYU and his law degree from the U of U.
Brian feels like an outside perspective and more innovation is needed in the office. He stated that it has been at least fifty years since somebody from outside of the office was elected as recorder and is concerned about some of the reports of bad work culture.
Brian prides himself on being available and getting things done. He feels that the office can do better with this. For example, he wants to always have a staffer out front to greet customers. He said that it is the only office that doesn’t accept credit/debit cards. Brian is also very concerned about the two-month backlog that currently exists in the office and suspects that this might be a result of bad work culture.
He feels that coming in from the outside is an advantage. He isn’t part of any faction and tries hard to be able to work with everybody. When asked about Bill Lee endorsing him, Brian said that he is his own person.
His convention speech can be found at https://youtu.be/LNqtmUxZm18
Paul has worked for the recorder’s office for the last year but has worked in the title insurance industry for many more. He feels that this experience on both sides, along with his education, qualifies him for the job. He has traveled through many counties in Utah and loves to see the dedication that Utah County has to accuracy. It is also important to him that documents are available free online. He said that Salt Lake County charges a subscription.
He is concerned though that there is a two-week delay before documents are even searchable online. There is also a two-month delay before they are fully processed. It has become a big enough issue that underwriters for loans were looking at pulling out of the county.
Paul said that the way the process works requires humans at each step, but there are things that can be done to go faster. One change he would make would be to get an initial draft out, without an accuracy check but with a disclaimer, so it would at least be searchable. After that, the office would add the rest of the data and ensure accuracy.
When asked about the office having more money from the minimum fee changing from $10 to $40 through the state legislature, he said that money has already been allocated to projects of the county commissioners. He did say though the budget increase mostly covered rising healthcare costs. He didn’t want to hire extra people though. They are expensive and take a long time to train as the company uses proprietary software.
His convention speech can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IfI7cuT0-TQ
Doug has spent the last 15 years in the recorder’s office and feels that he is familiar with the issues. He is very concerned about the two-month delay before documents are fully processed, and he wants to get that down to five days. State law says it has to be done in two weeks. He feels that he can do that with minor changes that will better motivate the staff.
Doug wants to work with the staff to improve procedures to make this run more smoothly in the office so that they can catch up without hiring more people. Doug also feels there are opportunities to increase efficiency by eliminating outdated and duplicitous processes.
He wants to see some changes like more flexible work schedules and recognition of top performers. When he managed a team at Sears Auto Center he saw the performance drastically increased when managed correctly. He wants to make the office a fun place to work.
Doug loves recording and learned a lot from helping his father with his land surveying business. He still helps a little on the side. Doug wants to see the office continue to put money in the general fund. He feels that the office could have asked for less money, thereby lowering the impact of the tax increase for residents.
His convention speech can be found at https://youtu.be/QEkPaXdmiI4