Life’s milestones should be matched with an accessible, user friendly Register of Deeds office, oriented towards caring and efficient customer service
This office needs a person that is ready to move this office forward, work towards better accessibility for all of Wake County, not just folks that live close to downtown. The Register of Deeds needs to spend time in the community, educating people about the office and learning better ways to help the residents of the. County. The Registrar should be a person with leadership skills that can manage a staff of 25+ individuals, empower them to do the best job they are able to do and to make sure they have the resources to do their job. The best person for this job should be able to build relationships with county departments, officials and Registrars across the state to ensure the office is run in the most efficient way that serves both the residents and the county. In the first 100 days on the job I will talk with employees of the office, county officials and members of the community to see what works well and what needs improvement or change. This office holds the public's trust. People don't know what the ROD does, but if they get married, have a child, if a loved one dies, get out of the military, or buy a home, you quickly learn about the office and the records it is entrusted with. The public depends on a well run office where that information is safely stored and cared for. I believe my years of experience in management, leadership and building relationships will help me hit the ground running and accomplish the changes that need to be made.
The most important issue is making sure all tools available to people are accessible for ALL the people, whether that be electronic access to all records or that means accessibility to the office for all parts of the county. Wake County covers almost 900 miles and having one office in downtown Raleigh doesn't serve all of the county. We need a satellite office or a mobile service that travels to different parts of the county so that all citizens are able to get the documents/records they need. Electronic access is vitally important to most folks that use the Register of Deeds office, technology in the office is woefully behind. The technology upgrades and access that Wake County needs is already in use in other counties, the services already exist, we need to simply put them into practice here in Wake. The office of the Register of Deeds needs a highly trained staff that can help with questions and help folks get the solution to their issue. Honesty and integrity must be the foundation for this office, to overcome the perception people have over the recent trouble. The cash-management safeguards implemented by the County and the additional audit & reporting requirements imposed by the County have and will go a long way to preventing a recurrence of that kind of incident. The investigation found that there were insufficient audit resources & very poor cash management. The key is never have one person alone w/ money & require compliance with systematic checks and safeguards
Making sure ALL records are able to be accessed electronically and training of staff to treat every single person that comes into the office with dignity and respect. The office is located in a building that is open 8:30 - 5pm each day, in downtown Raleigh, I propose we work to expand hours to the office so that people don't have to take a day off of work to get the things that they need. There must be satellite or mobile office in order to fully serve Wake County. Geography of the county alone proves we need another office. An assessment of need should be done to find the best satellite locations. Attention needs to be paid to the issues that come up each day, the volume of work for different departments throughout the day and the office should be staffed accordingly. Staff should be cross trained in all aspects of the work so that they can fully help citizens when they call or come in and need help. Also, implementation of policies, practices and work culture that enables employees to work and care for family at the same time. What we have learned during this pandemic is that a strict 8:30 - 5pm in the office work schedule isn't always the best way to get the best output from employees.
This is the one elected position that has no actual political power. This is a public service organization beyond partisanship and party.
The public depends on us. In a year, more than $15 billion in Wake County real estate is transferred through our office and more than $80 million in income is directly generated for local people. We manage the vital records (births, deaths, marriages) of the largest county in the state. We must operate accurately and with financial accountability every day.
I became Register of Deeds to rebuild the office in the aftermath of an embezzlement scandal involving the former register of deeds. That has been done.
I found that the office had not been financially audited for 17 years, even though a state law requires an annual audit. As Register of Deeds, I insist on being audited as required by law. The office has been issued a clean opinion by the independent certified public accountants.
I also found the office had a core professional staff performing their duties honestly and diligently. With the support and perseverance of the dedicated professional staff, the office was protected and progressed. New procedures were introduced to increase accountability and accessibility, including payments by debit and credit cards.
We can all say we now have a progressive, clean, honest organization functioning evenly during rough times and smooth. Preserve the progress by retaining the Register of Deeds team.
The most important matter right now is our “stay open” plan.
More than a year before the Covid-19 pandemic, we developed and tested emergency disaster recovery plans to ensure continuity of operations in the event of a public emergency or cyberattack. One of the plans was for a human-related emergency, including an illness impacting staff or the public.
Early in March 2020, while others were debating what to do about operating under the pandemic, we already knew what to do and initiated implementation of our recovery plan.
Our recording and indexing staff were deployed to their homes. We set up video technology so that the public can meet with us virtually, on-line, for vital records services, including marriage licenses, without having to leave their homes or offices.
In March recording and indexing were secured. Even if the worst were to happen, and the health department were to close our building or quarantine staff, real estate would continue to be processed.
We never stopped offering these governmental services, even as the manner of delivering some service changed. Our holistic plan allows us to continue to operate our core business indefinitely while protecting the public from infection because they no longer need to physically visit our building to receive any service.
The county needs and now has a progressive, accountable and well-managed office running smoothly under Charles Gilliam’s leadership.
Wake County Register of Deeds is a progressive operation functioning effectively. Technology, along with our planning and excellent staff, enables us to operate seamlessly and effectively during and after the current pandemic.
In March we implemented the measures needed to make the office operate most effectively during the pandemic. We also expanded our economic reporting so that the public can readily monitor the impact of the pandemic.
Last year the county implemented a new countywide IP telephone system replacing an out-of-date system that was not very user friendly or customizable. This enabled us to streamline the telephone call process so that staff can be reached more easily.
Last October we went live with a new vital records software system. 1.3 million records were converted to the new system. This was a prerequisite to set up a series of other changes planned for 2020.
The pandemic has impacted the timing of some changes planned for 2020, including expansion of our satellite location operation. Some changes planned for launch earlier this year had to be postponed because other branches of the government had to withdraw needed resources (due to the pandemic and through no fault of their own). We will announce new programs as restrictions are eased and the resources become re-available. As this year progresses, we will also be announcing new initiatives which we can implement on our own without support from another government office.