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Wood County Recorder

Wood County RecorderTerm Commencing January 4, 2021Term of Office: 4 yearsSalary: $63,098Responsibilities: To Record deeds, mortgages, plats, liens, and other written instruments.

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    Julie Baumgardner

  • Candidate picture

    James Matuszak

Biographical Information

What would you do to encourage/implement more online access for Wood County residents in records activity? Do you think this is necessary?

How will you evaluate data management security and emergency preparedness regarding records, documents, and technology? How will you act upon the evaluation results?

What do you consider the most important issue facing the Recorder’s office and how will you address it?

What is your vision for the Recorder’s Office?

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Education Bowling Green High School, University of Toledo, Associates in Computer Programming
Qualifications 12 years as the Recorder, 6 years as a Deputy Recorder, 11 years as a computer programmer
I would finish back scanning the office's documents and continue to work on the indexing of those documents so searches could be completed back to 1820 online. While I think it is necessary to get the index to the records online I am more cautious about putting the images of those records online because many of the records have personal information, social security numbers, addresses, etc., on them. With the circumstances we are facing today I believe it is very important that online index access is available since it gives everyone the ability to search and find records. In the near future I think it may l become necessary to put the actual document image online but not before the personal information found on documents is protected. As a member of the Legislative and Executive Committees of the Ohio Recorders' Association I will continue to work on getting laws passed that protect that personal information while still allowing the images to be available online.
Every year I talk with my IT vendor and we go over what new security features have been created and if and when those security features should be implemented. I also sit on the Data Processing board for the county and we have regular meetings with the county's IT director to review new hardware and software that will help protect the county's data. Every few years I review the office's disaster recovery plan to make sure it is still up to date. The last review was done under the direction of the county's Emergency Management Agency. During those reviews updates to how and where records are stored, what services are going to be needed, vendors contract information, and also how the recovery will be implemented is updated and changed as necessary.
The most important issue for the Recorder's office is the accessibility of the records contained in the office balanced with the security of the personal information contained in those records. I will address this issue by first of all getting the records in the office digitized and indexed back to 1820 when the county was formed. This will provide the access that is needed to search the records. The security of personal information on those documents will be addressed by continuing to work with the state legislature to make sure that laws introduced and passed help protect that personal information and still make records easy to find. As a member of the Ohio Recorders' Association Legislative Committee for 5 years and now as the treasurer of the Executive Committee I have been and will continue working with state legislatures to make sure any new laws will continue to protect that personal information.
My vision for the Recorder's office is to continue to upgrade the technology in the office to make records safer and more accessible. To continue the excellent customer service provided by the employees of the office and to continue the openness and accessibility of the office to the public. I want to continue to bring the Good Deeds program, started this year in conjunction with the Probate Judge, Clerk of Courts, and Auditor, to all parts of the county to help with estate planning. I want to expand the office's Fraud Alert system so that more constituents are signed up and can monitor documents that are recorded against their properties.
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Education Bachelor of Business Administration Masters of Taxation
Qualifications Solid reputation with the business & legal communities; proven, trusted business, financial & tax advisor; history of community involvement (currently a Perrysburg City Councilman)
It is no secret that more and more business is being done online. Whether it is necessary to encourage/implement more online access depends on the current and evolving needs of those the Recorder's Office serves. Furthermore, it is important to acknowledge and distinguish the difference between encouraging more online access and mandating online access. My experience has shown that interruptions with online activities can, depending on the circumstances, bring business to a halt. Interruptions to online activity will continue to occur. I will promote more online access, but not without a backup plan in place to provide uninterrupted service to Wood County residents in the event online access is interrupted.

The best way to encourage more online access is to make it as user-friendly as possible. If online access to the Recorder's Office is easy, dependable, efficient and reliable, and is supplemented with the proper amount of support from the office, usage will increase.
There are professionals that make a living evaluating data management security and emergency preparedness regarding records, documents and technology. As the County Recorder, the offices annual budget will include sufficient funding to protect the integrity of the records, documents and technology entrusted to the office. The Recorder's Office, and more specifically, the Recorder, should always be accountable to the public. To that end, any actions recommended to the office as the result of an evaluation should be made readily available to the public. Public response to the recommendations should be welcomed, Any actions taken based on the evaluation should take into consideration the recommendations of the evaluator, the public and those office personnel that work with the public on a day-to-day basis. Periodic testing of security measures in place will ensure that such measures are up to date with advances/changes in technology.
The most important issue facing the Recorder's Office should be the maintenance, security and accessibility of the documents and information entrusted to it.
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