Promises made and kept
When my Wife and I decided that I should run for County Recorder back in 2015, we decided that I should run on a limited platform that demonstrated real value, sacrifice and leadership to the people of the county. The platform was:
Refuse the lucrative County IMRF pension
Eliminate nepotism and patronage
Ultimately, work to eliminate the office of the Recorder entirely; the very job I was running for.
As promised, I have not taken the pension.
All hiring decisions are the result of behavior-based, panel interviews. If I have any relationship with the interviewee, I remove myself from the decision-making process.
In June of 2017 the County Board approved my resolution to put the binding question on the March 2018 ballot to eliminate the Recorder and move the duties into the Clerk’s office. The people passed the question at the rate of four to one. The die was set. There would remain a Recorder until November 30, 2020 and then the Clerk would manage that function.
In 2018, I ran for Clerk and won. Upon winning the election, I renounced all pay and benefits due to the Recorder from that point until the office no longer existed. With my win as Clerk, the County would begin saving on the cost of the Recorder two years earlier than planned. Two jobs for the price of one, and two years sooner than promised.
That wasn’t all that was saved.
I had been pressed during my 2016 run to quantify the savings I would promise. Being the conservative I am, I only promised my salary and pension. The savings and improvements would far exceed what was promised.
By December 2020, the Recorder’s team will have saved between $1.9 and 2.1 million dollars as compared to the budget for 2016. That savings represents about 2 years of expense for the office. In other words, the office could run for two years on the savings our team created. But it’s not all about savings, the Recorder's office is far more efficient than it had been. A document that used to take, on average, 4.2 days to be returned to a customer is now done in less than a day, often times, in minutes. We do that with 13 people, compared to the 26 that were in place when I took office.
We’ve also managed to do more! We implemented “Honor Rewards Program” that encourages veterans to register their DD214 with us in exchange for benefits at local business, and have the highest penetration of Property Fraud Alert subscriptions in the state.
Today’s Recorder’s office provides more benefit to the community, at a lower cost than ever before. You can thank the remarkable people I work with in the Recorder’s office for that.
After December 1, there will be no observable difference to what has been done in the Recorder’s office the day before. Same great people doing the important work that the County has relied on for years. Just better, faster, cheaper and with one less politician to feed.
It has been my privilege to work for the people of the County, and to work with the outstanding people of the Recorder's office to bring these improvements into practice. As we look into the future, we will continue to look for new ways to improve service and reduce costs to our constituents.