The Register of Deeds is elected in partisan elections every 4 years. The office is the custodian of documents recorded from the beginning of the county to the present day. It records real estate documents, births and deaths. The office also issues marriage licenses, handles notary commissions, military discharge recordings, and provides certified birth and death certificates, and other documents.
Serving the citizens of New Hanover County is the most rewarding and wonderful thing to me.
A few of my accolades are establishing a Satellite Office located at the Government Center. In 2015 we went live with new software company Business Information Services providing the County a yearly savings of $100,000.00. I also implemented a new “Fraud Alert” system where citizens may add their name to a flagging system that notifies an individual by email when their name has been used in a recorded document. I implemented the “Thank A Vet” Discount Card Program, whereby Veterans who’ve recorded their DD214 may receive a free discount card to be used at participating businesses. I also collaborated with Wilmington Cremation Funeral Home with regards to collecting flags to be disposed of in the correct way. We are working on our fifth “love is in the air” wedding event I created in 2014, where we host weddings for eight lucky couples on Valentine’s day. This entire event is funded strictly by donations from our community. I was honored with the title of The Public Official of the Year Award by NACRC an international association. I am also certified as a Public Leader through George Washington University and I also served on the North Carolina State Historical Records Advisory Board from 2016-2019.Being a paralegal for 25 years prior to becoming Register of Deeds, I saw the cracks and knew where and how to fill them. The restoration and preservation of the Registry’s Deed Books are likely my greatest passion. I have already restored three quarters of our priceless records.
Completing the restoration of all the historical books. Our records date back to 1728 and although I have restored 3/4s of them the rest really needs to be completed as soon as possible. These records also include our marriage, birth and death certificates along with the DD214 records. All these books are priceless and the history of our county.
Since taking office in 2012 and purchasing the new software program has really brought our office into the 21 century. As new technology comes out and is allowed by statute I am implementing it. Although we are a small county by size we are along the top Register of Deeds offices in this state. It's very impressive considering there are 100 counties in North Carolina.
As Registrar, I hope to improve accessibility to services and bring the Registry into the 21st century.
I am a lifelong resident of New Hanover County and a graduate of UNCW, where I earned a degree in Political Science and Public Administration.
I serve on a number of boards throughout our community including the Cape Fear Economic Development Council, the Cooperative Extension Advisory Council, the MLK Celebration Committee of Southeastern NC, and I currently chair the Cape Fear Realtors Community Affairs Committee.
I have a passion for local history, and that is one of the many reasons that I am drawn to serve as Registrar.
I work as a REALTOR, and every day I study the kinds of market data that the Registrar needs to put together budgets for the office. I use the Register of Deeds a lot in my line of work, and I have seen many aspects that need to change. As Registrar, I want to modernize the Registry and ensure that its services are accessible to all residents of our county.
Access and Modernization.
Accessibility means ensuring that all county residents are able to utilize the services of the Registry. It means implementing multilingual translation online, over the phone, and in person for our county's 15,000 residents who speak a language other than English at home, and it means being readily available for our elderly and disabled populations.
We also need to modernize our Registry so that it has the capacity to match our county's continued growth. One key component of modernization is cybersecurity. In 2019, over 160 local governments across the United States were targeted by ransomware hacker attacks. In March of 2020, an attack resulted in Durham County's Register of Deeds being completely disabled for a month. My opponent does not think this is a problem, but I believe that anyone responsible for a public database needs to be a cybersecurity activist. As Registrar, I will ensure that we are following appropriate measures to protect the safety of our data.
Every year the Register of Deeds brings in nearly $4 million in net revenue to the county's general fund, making it one of the largest revenue sources for New Hanover County. There is a lot on the line, and it is critical that our Registry is well managed.
Currently, our Register of Deeds outspends nearly every county department, including the County Commission, in travel expenses. As Registrar, I will be a responsible steward of tax dollars and will work to rein in frivolous spending. As a Realtor, I work every day with the types of market data necessary to create balanced budgets for the office.
Lastly, this office is often utilized at critical life moments - recording a birth, wedding, or death; buying a new home; or settling the estate of a loved one. I hope that as Registrar, I can create an office that respects and understands the needs of our residents, so that when they enter the building or scroll through the website, they're greeted with kindness and have a positive experience.
With 15 years of senior management experience in a Fortune 100 company, nearly 20 years of local real estate experience, and as a third-party candidate not encumbered by today’s partisan politics, I am well equipped to run the department of The Register of Deeds. My background has given me skills and insights to focus on improving access to records and information and modernization of processes to access those records.
First and foremost is the importance of health and safety of employees and the general public using the services of the Register’s office during this time of a pandemic, taking precautions daily to ensure safe operations.
Updating systems to be able to search historical data online, potentially use block-chain technology to store records securely so they cannot be altered are two important areas to address.
Providing a fresh perspective on procedures and policies, I would invite suggestions from staff who do the work day in and day out - what works well, what can be done differently to improve access and processes. I would invite suggestions for improvement from customers as well with the goal of making the office and records accessible and easy to navigate. A thorough review of handling important things like cash receipts is critical so that what happened in the Wake County Register of Deeds office in 2018 (theft of nearly $2.3 million) could not happen in New Hanover County.