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Cook County Recorder of Deeds

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The questions

All candidates were invited to respond to questionnaires, although not all chose to participate. Click on a candidate's name to see the unedited response to each question.

Biographical information & experience
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    Yarbrough
Yarbrough
Birthdate: 8/22/1950
Occupation: State of Illinois
Marital status: Married
Spouse: Henderson Yarbrough

Education:

Chicago State University- BS

Northeastern Illinois University-MA

Civic, professional, fraternal or other affiliations:

Proviso Township Democratic Organization
Cook County Democratic Party
Democratic State Central Committee
Maywood Chamber of Commerce
The Way Back Inn
West Suburban Pads

Have you held elective or appointive political office or been employed by any branch of government?

State Representative-7th District
Proviso Township Democratic Committeeman
State Central Committeewoman-7th CD

Please list jobs or contracts you, members of your immediate family or business partners have had with government.

None

Campaign information
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    Yarbrough
Yarbrough

Campaign headquarters: 1001 S 17th Maywood,IL 60153
Website: www.karenyarbrough.org/2012/
Campaign manager: Janet Gilbert & Bill Velazquez
Campaign budget: $75,000
Name your five biggest campaign contributors and the amount they contributed.
Ed Novak- $4,000
ComEd- $2,500
Marlow Colvin- $1,000
Jack Franks- $1,000
Jason Ervin- $1,000

Now that many users access records by computer from remote locations, is it time to trim the staff size in the office of Recorder of Deeds?
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    Yarbrough
Yarbrough

It is my understanding that the Recorder's staff have been consistently reduced over the past several years.

I intend to make the Recorder's Office a user-friendly, efficient office with up-to-date technology and excellent customer service. While there have been some technological enhancements within the office, I will use industry best practices in the field to improve communication and information sharing between various agencies in Cook County.

Should the Recorder of Deeds office be merged into another Cook County office?
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    Yarbrough
Yarbrough

Before we embark on merging county offices, an assessment should be made about what efficiencies and cost savings could be produced versus the potential loss of valuable oversight over important real estate documents. The Cook County Recorder is the second largest recorder's office in the country. One of its chief duties is to oversee and protect the real estate interests of homeowners, of which tens of thousands of are victims of mortgage fraud annually.

I am interested in making the Recorder's Office the chief advocate for homeowners in Cook County. As Recorder, I will enhance the Mortgage Fraud Unit within the Office to combat the filing of fraudulent and deceptive documents. I will streamline and modernize the office without sacrificing this important role. I cannot support weakening this important office unless it can be shown that these protections can be enhanced in the Recorder's Office and a merger accomplished without sacrificing the integrity of the office.

If the office should be merged, what is the most efficient way to go about it?
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    Yarbrough
Yarbrough

I do not believe in launching plans that have not yet been proven to be in the best interests of Cook County residents. Once an assessment has been made as to to the efficacy of a merger, including which offices should be merged, a careful plan should be developed with all stakeholders at the table to ensure that protections and safeguards will be maintained and enhanced in a new system.

Some comparable offices elsewhere in the nation have electronic systems that allow images of documents to be viewed remotely via computer. Do you envision such a system for Cook County?
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    Yarbrough
Yarbrough

Without a doubt a system allowing imaging to be reviewed remotely would be in line with my thinking of what a twenty-first century Recorder of Deeds office would look like. High on my list will be looking for best practices and cost-cutting enhancements that would ultimately save money.

Will you accept campaign contributions from employees in your office?
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    Yarbrough
Yarbrough

I am acutely aware of the problems that have occurred with other office holders in this area in the past. I am committed to upholding the law and enforcing ethical behavior. Employees are citizens, too, and should be able to contribute to any candidate as they wish. However, I will not encourage or tolerate any coercion by anyone within my administration to elicit contributions.

The candidates
Karen A. Yarbrough
The office

The Cook County Recorder of Deeds oversees an office that creates public records of land transactions, tax liens, articles of incorporation and Uniform Commercial Code fillings.

The district
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