proposed budget will eliminate two of these three open positions. Fiscal Affairs Director Jim Hunter said he'll take the money saved from cutting these jobs to hire another accountant. Hunter also explained that the real estate market is in the tank. No one questioned Hunter's logic. A Deputy Recorder was there, so I assumed that the people in that department agree with him. I found out differently when I spoke to the clerks in that office.
"We need those positions," one of the clerks told me. She and several others pointed out that, though the real state market is no longer going gangbusters, like it was doing in 2006, things are busy. My own review of recordings over the past four years indicate an average of about 37,000 documents recorded per year. Though residential sales are down, the industrial market is hot.
Hunter's claim that e-recording has made life easier for clerks is also false. It's certainly true that this option has reduced foot traffic into the Recorder's Office. Title companies can simply email recordings. So it is a great convenience to them and participating attorneys and banks. But the convenience ends there. It is actually a little more time consuming to process an e-recording,clerks tell me.
Jim Hunter could learn this if he ever dropped into the office. I've never seen him there, and believe me, he's hard to miss. Almost as hard to miss as I am.
The real estate market fluctuates. Instead of the complete elimination of these positions, I'd suggest funding two of the slots at $0, so that the positions are there in case the need to fill them arises. Otherwise, County Council will have to adopt a resolution, and that is time-consuming. Also, Jim should visit the office and speak to the people who work there, and take a closer look at filling the positions.
If he did that, I'd offer to buy him lunch.
But that would be a bribe.