Ann Achatz has spent the last 38 years working in the Recorder of Deeds Office. Since 1989, she's been the Recorder. She's worked under each of the County's six Executives, as well as three different Recorders. She's even put up with me, which is no easy feat.
Ann was instrumental in implementing a state-of-the-art electronic recording system called LANDEX. Over forty counties now use that system, widely regarded the best in the state.
She modernized the office, with an emphasis on making it as user friendly as possible. Many older record books have been scanned and are available on computer. In addition to making things easier for searchers and the public, this has conserved space.
She came up with the idea of charging $10 for a parcel check on every document recorded. This resulted in $400,000 pouring into County coffers last year. It will be more this year.
This reduces the need to generate revenue through real estate taxes.
"There have been many challenges, ups and downs," states Ann. "I have met many wonderful people who have supported me during my career and will miss each and every one of them."
The feeling is mutual, Ann.
Ann lives in Forks Township with her husband, John, and two very unusual cats.
Ann will be succeeded by her Chief Deputy, Andrea Suter. Although Director of Court Services Archie D'Isidore stated he might apply for the job, he never did. Suter will be sworn in on Thursday.
I'd say that Andrea has some big shoes to fill, but Ann's feet are only about four inches long.
If you have a chance, stop by and say good-bye to Ann today.