Kane recorder candidates differ in view of office
By Matt Brennan For The Beacon-News October 8, 2012 10:38AM
Family: Married, 2 daughters, 1 granddaughter
Occupation: Kane County recorder
Previous elected office: Kane County recorder for 12 years; Gail Borden Public Library Board trustee for 12 years
Family: Single, 1 daughter
Previous elected office: Elgin City Council for 4 years
Updated: October 8, 2012 9:04PM
The candidates in the November election for Kane County recorder of deeds see the role of the office a little differently.
For incumbent Republican Sandy Wegman of Elgin, who has held the position since 2000, technology has been of vital importance in meeting the mission of the office as designated by state statute. Under her direction, Kane County has been proactive in making documents available online, making them available to iPhone and iPad users, and backing up data more consistently, Wegman said.
“The office is about recording documents. That’s established by state statute, and that’s what we’re doing,” she said.
Her Democratic opponent, Brenda Rodgers, takes a slightly different look at the office. The Elgin Realtor values technology, but also feels that the elected office should make more of an effort to interact with the community. In addition to its role fulfilling the state statute, she wants to see the office maintain a higher visibility.
For Rodgers, this would mean quarterly town hall meetings and hosting the occasional workshop on avoiding foreclosures — which she says recorder’s offices do in other counties.
“I believe that politicians should be out among the people,” Rodgers said.
Wegman said that budgeting for her office has been made easier because it’s funded by user fees, rather than taxpayer money. She has her final budget approved by the County Board. Since she has routinely come in under budget, her relationship with the board has always been strong, she said.
“Just because the money is there, doesn’t mean we spend it,” she said.
Rodgers said she would take a similar approach to budgeting. Because user fees set the budget, it would be easier to anticipate what was available, she said.
Her 20-plus years as a Realtor have prepared her for the duties of recorder, she said. In that time, she has had plenty of experience interacting with title companies, attorneys, Realtors and the general public, she said.
“You can’t represent people if you don’t know what they need,” she said.
The office exists for a specific group of people, Wegman said.
“Unless they’re coming in to record a document, they don’t know we exist,” she said.
During her tenure, the office has improved a good deal technologically, Wegman said. It is the only county office to allow for iPhone and iPad usage, she said, and Kane was the first collar county to put recorder documents online, she said.
“It’s very technologically advanced,” Wegman said.