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CURRENT MISSION: Eliminate the elected office of the Recorder of Deeds and merge its functions with the office of the County Clerk TOWARDS A BETTER COOK.

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Presentation on theme: "CURRENT MISSION: Eliminate the elected office of the Recorder of Deeds and merge its functions with the office of the County Clerk TOWARDS A BETTER COOK."— Presentation transcript:

1 CURRENT MISSION: Eliminate the elected office of the Recorder of Deeds and merge its functions with the office of the County Clerk TOWARDS A BETTER COOK COUNTY A Series of Ideas to Make Cook County Government Work Better for its Residents

2 THE OPPORTUNITY Cook County has dozens of independent administrative offices run by separately-elected officials Cook County has dozens of independent administrative offices run by separately-elected officials Positions that are narrowly drawn and administrative in nature provide an excellent opportunity for consolidation with another office Positions that are narrowly drawn and administrative in nature provide an excellent opportunity for consolidation with another office We have an elected Recorder of Deeds for some public record keeping and an elected County Clerk for other public record keeping We have an elected Recorder of Deeds for some public record keeping and an elected County Clerk for other public record keeping Record keeping is an administrative function Record keeping is an administrative function 8 of the 10 biggest US counties have a combined Recorder and Clerk office 8 of the 10 biggest US counties have a combined Recorder and Clerk office Merging the functions of the Recorder of Deeds into the Clerks office will improve constituent service, reduce political and bureaucratic inefficiency and save taxpayer dollars Merging the functions of the Recorder of Deeds into the Clerks office will improve constituent service, reduce political and bureaucratic inefficiency and save taxpayer dollars Towards a Better Cook County

3 Budget: $11.7M Staff: 206 employees Mission: Public record keeper Key office tasks: Maintain official records of land transactions Maintain official records of UCC, tax liens and lien releases Maintain other official records such as military discharge documents Collect and record transfer taxes Link land records to GIS data Key office tasks: Maintain vital records Maintain other official records such as business name documentation Maintain Countys property tax maps and calculate tax rates Maintain legislative records, ethics filings Administer elections for County suburbs Recorders record keeping functions align with the Clerks Vital Records BureauRecorders record keeping functions align with the Clerks Vital Records Bureau Recorders transfer tax functions align with the Clerks Tax Services DivisionRecorders transfer tax functions align with the Clerks Tax Services Division Note: This is a summary of each offices key functions. It is not an exhaustive list of functions by office. SEPARATE OFFICES, OVERLAPPING MISSIONS Budget: $28.7M Staff: 285 employees Mission: Public record keeper and suburban election administrator Towards a Better Cook County

4 ONLY 2 OF THE 10 BIGGEST US COUNTIES HAVE SEPARATELY ELECTED RECORDERS OF DEEDS CountyStatePop. Recorder, Clerk combined Recorder, Clerk elected separately Website Los AngelesCA9.8MXRegistrar-Recorder/Clerk CookIL5.2MXRecorder Recorder & Clerk separateClerk HarrisTX4.1MXClerk (is Recorder) MaricopaAZ3.8MXRecorder Recorder & Board Clerk separateBoard Clerk San DiegoCA3.1MXAssessor/Recorder/Clerk OrangeCA3MXClerk-Recorder KingsNY2.5MXNY City Register Miami-DadeFL2.5MX Clerk of the Courts (is Recorder) Clerk of the Courts (is Recorder) *separate Clerk of the Board handles legislative records onlyClerk of the Board DallasTX2.4MXClerk is Recorder QueensNY2.2MXNY City Register Towards a Better Cook County

5 WHY IS MERGING OFFICES REFORM? Better constituent service Cost savings for taxpayers Less politics in government Centralized record keeping makes the service more user-friendly by increasing ease of navigation Reduce the number of offices visited for record application and retrieval Automating and updating of records done by one official Civic Federation estimates combining offices could save $800K. (Item 31, pg. 154)(Item 31, pg. 154) In 2003, then-Commissioner Mike Quigley estimated merger could save $600K (Pg. 23)Pg. 23 Based on these calculations (which assumed additional office consolidations) and new analysis we estimate taxpayer savings could approximately One Million Dollars annually Cook County has 29 separately elected officials. Larger Los Angeles County has 8. 8 of 10 largest counties combine Clerk/Recorder Sources: Quigley report, Civic Federation, LA County documentation White Elects To Have Post Be Appointed Chicago Sun-Times January. Lou Ortiz. Pg. 34. Chicago Sun-Times Towards a Better Cook County

6 SO HOW DO WE DO IT? Our government rests in public opinion. - Abraham Lincoln Ask the public through a County-wide referendum. Ask the public through a County-wide referendum. The Cook County Board of Commissioners must approve and adopt a resolution to initiate the submission of this public question. The Cook County Board of Commissioners must approve and adopt a resolution to initiate the submission of this public question. The public question will be asked at the November 2012 general election. The public question will be asked at the November 2012 general election. Approval by a simple majority will allow for the offices of the County Clerk and Recorder of Deeds to be merged before the end of 2015 Approval by a simple majority will allow for the offices of the County Clerk and Recorder of Deeds to be merged before the end of 2015 Weve done this before in Cook County... - 1972: A County-wide referendum eliminated the elected Coroners Office. - It became the Office of the Medical Examiner; a position appointed by the President of the Board. Source: (10 ILCS 5/) Election Code; IL Constitution, Art. VII Towards a Better Cook County

7 WE DID IT BEFORE... On August 16, 1972, the County Board approved a resolution proposing a question referendum be placed in the general election ballot on November 7, 1972, calling for the elimination of the Office of Coroner of Cook County, replacing it with a Medical Examiner On November 7, 1972, the voters, by an almost 9 to 1 majority, approved the proposition, setting in motion the replacement of an elected office with an appointed one. Sources: Cook County Board Journal of Procedures. Records of meetings held in August 16, 1972 and March 4, 1974. Tazwell County Board Records. Resolution approved January 13, 2011 Sources: Cook County Board Journal of Procedures. Records of meetings held in August 16, 1972 and March 4, 1974. Tazwell County Board Records. Resolution approved January 13, 2011 Journal Star, Tazewell voters abolish recorder of deeds post. Pekin, IL. April 6, 2011 Chicago Sun-Times IT HAPPENED AGAIN! On January 13, 2011, in Tazewell County, Illinois, the members of the Board approved a resolution presenting the referendum asking the electorate whether or not to abolish the Recorder of Deeds Office, consolidating it with the County Clerks Office On April 5, 2011, 65.5% of the Tazewell County voters approved the referendum that calls for a consolidation to take place at the expiration of the current Tazewell County Recorders term on December 2012. Towards a Better Cook County

8 December 2011 November 6, 2012 December 5, 2012 December, 2015 File referendum language with County Clerk HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE? Inform voters of their choice to vote for merged offices New elected Recorder is sworn in General Election Transition team from Clerks office works with newly elected Recorder on transfer of duties Regular updates are posted for the Public to know transition progress All functions have been transferred Towards a Better Cook County October and November, 2011 Introduction and approval of County Board Resolution


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