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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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    Griffith
Sherri Griffith
Political party: Republican
Birthdate: 12/9/1963
Occupation: Sales and Marketing Professional
Marital status: divorced
Spouse:

Education:

BS Marketing, De Paul University
MS Adminstration, Spertus College

Civic, professional, fraternal or other affiliations:

National Sales Network, RNC, Cook County GOP, Illionis GOP, Block Club, West Chatham Planning Association

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

NO

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

None that I am aware of.

Campaign information
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    Griffith
Griffith

Campaign headquarters: 7954 S LaSalle Street, Chicago, IL 60620
Website: sherri4recorder.com
Campaign manager: Eloise Gerson
Campaign budget: $15,000
Name your five biggest campaign contributors and the amount they contributed.
Jack Roeser, $5000
Paul Bonilla $250
Roger Salter $200
Eunice Griffith$800
Marty Zeidman $100

For years, proposals have been floated to eliminate the recorder of deeds office and move its functions into the clerk's office or elsewhere in county government. What is your view on disbanding the office? Would its elimination save money?
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    Griffith
Griffith

This office is vital, but needs to exist in some form. Complete elimination is not practical. I am aware that this discussion exists and believe there should be more examination about the possibility of the move. After the Great Chicago Fire, it became a reality that recording land ownership is a vital function and one that needs to be handled efficiently, and with great care because of the historical and economic value to the citizens and the county. If the office were to be eliminated, yes, I believe it would save money.

What value is there in having an elected Recorder of Deeds rather than an appointed one?
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    Griffith
Griffith

I don't see the benefit of having an elected Recorder, most voters are not even aware that the office exists. This office in my opinion is a business office and can perform efficiently as such. I don't believe there should be an appointed recorder either, but one that gets interviewed and the best candidate for the position should be hired.

The Recorder of Deeds office has a reputation as a patronage dumping ground, undercutting the office's ability to effectively and efficiently serve the public. What will you do to get rid of patronage hires and ensure hiring by merit?
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    Griffith
Griffith

There should be a complete overhaul of the staff starting with management. There are too many managers and supervisors who are not performing their jobs, but are harsh and inappropriate in their approach to surpervising employees. This is a direct result of patronage hiring where employees feel that they are not under obligation to perform their duties with effective and fair practices. There also needs to be an assessment of the union employees who have been written up for mis-conduct but have not been taken to the level of appropriate discipline and some to termination. This will set a tone of what my expectations would be for each employee performing their job with good intentions and up to standard. This is the only way to become a well performing office for the end-user and to become a standard for county government.

With the downturn in the real estate market and the slowdown of home sales, how can the Recorder of Deeds office justify maintaining its staffing levels? What actions would you take to bring staffing in line with the current workload in the office?
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    Griffith
Griffith

Current staffing levels must be reduced. There are too many employees without any work to stay busy throughout the day. There is too much seperation of duties and all employees should be cross trained to perform all simple duties of recording documents and tax liens. Once the office is completely automated with new recording software, there will be no need for the same level of employees.

Has the office done enough to allow for transactions online and to make all its information readily available online? Does the office take full advantage of current technology to best serve the public?
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    Griffith
Griffith

No, no, and no. The software exist to make the website user-friendly and super efficient where once the document is received in the recorder office and recorded, it can be available online in minutes. Currently, according to the STAR report, it takes 5 days for the same task to take place. I have met numerous citizens while campaigning that complain about how the information is inaccurate, outdated and difficult to retrieve from the ineffective, and hard to navigate website.

As recorder, would you accept campaign donations from employees and real estate attorneys? Why or why not?
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    Griffith
Griffith

No. I believe it is against the county's ethical code to do so, plus this leads to patronage which I am vehemently against. What could possibly be the reason for a real estate attorney to make a donation to the recorder for their election? This should not be an elected office.

The candidates
Karen Yarbrough

Karen Yarbrough

 

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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.

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