Vicki Richards (R) – Summit County Recorder
Vicki Richards (Republican)
Summit County Recorder
1. What are your qualifications to run for County Recorder and why do you want to serve?
My vast and varied work experience has qualified me by the many unique opportunities in leadership growth, self-motivation, continued learning, and interaction with the public. I worked for a major state university, with city, county, and state government in water conservation. This employment required effective communication and collaboration, as I was the liaison between the organizations. I was responsible, trustworthy, and constantly looking for methods to improve efficiency, budget maximization, and program growth. This required problem-solving, resource management, multi-tasking, and technology proficiency. I have earned Bachelors and Masters degrees in Science. I want to serve my community and give Summit County the benefit of my work experience, leadership, and education.
2. The state just changed the length of the term for this office in order to stagger county elections in the future. Was that a good or bad idea and are you prepared to make a 6-year commitment to the job?
I was informed of this change before I decided to run for the Recorder position so I am fully prepared to commit to the six-year term. I think the idea of staggering the county elections is a good idea because it allows some offices to have continuity while others may be changing leadership. One concern, however, is that the offices up for election in the off-years may suffer from low voter turnout.
3. Should this be an elected or appointed position and could it be combined with another department to save taxpayer dollars?
I believe the Recorder’s position should be an elected position. Any time citizens have the right to exercise their constitutional right to vote, it gives the opportunity to maintain the checks and balances in our government. In many other counties, the Recorder’s Office is combined with the Clerk’s Office. Both positions are important and I would never compromise customer service to the taxpayer. I would, however, be open to review any idea that will make the county more efficient and save taxpayer money.
4. Should the county change its fee structure for obtaining records from your office?
The Recorder’s office is not run to make a profit. The fees charged should be to maintain the cost of providing the best customer service to the citizens of Summit County. The fee structure currently in place is reasonable and on par with other counties. I will keep fees at a reasonable rate to cover costs for use of our services and I will be ethically responsible with the budget so that no unexpected expenditures will need to be paid by the taxpayers.
5. Do you have any ideas to incorporate more technology into your department, if so what and how would it help citizens?
Technology is important for the accuracy and safety of our public records. The Recorder’s Office needs to update the technology used for determining and recording property lines and section corners, and current technology needs to be more user- friendly for citizens. I will review the technology available, evaluating the cost-benefit to the taxpayers of Summit County. Accuracy is imperative and has many benefits to the citizens; for example, reduced litigation over property lines.
6. Please differentiate your platform from your opponent’s.
My goal is to improve the customer service given to the citizens of Summit County by providing effective leadership, improving communication, and increasing efficiency in the Recorder’s Office. Complacency breeds stagnation. The office needs a new perspective to bring it to the next level of efficient customer service. Staff should be cross-trained and office protocol improved so that service to the customer is optimized. Technology should be utilized to the full extent and updated often to improve accuracy and the safety of the county records. This should be evaluated constantly so the county can budget for improvements without the need to pass the cost on to clients and taxpayers with large fee increases.
Communication with the real estate industry, title companies, surveyors, and other citizens needs to be established and improved so we are providing the best customer service possible. Everyone should know what the Recorder’s Office provides and be comfortable utilizing those services. I have the experience, leadership, and motivation to improve the Recorder’s office. I am the best person for the job and I will provide the new perspective that this position requires!
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The Summit County unemployment rate dropped slightly in October, the state Department of Workforce Services reported.