Kathleen V. Carrier: 2024 candidate for DuPage County recorder


Party: Democrat

Office Sought: DuPage County recorder

City: Carol Stream

Age: 68

Occupation: DuPage County recorder

Previous offices held: Wayne PC, Former Chair-WTDO

Why are you running for this office, whether for re-election or election for the first time? Is there a particular issue that motivates you? If so, what?

My motivation to run for reelection is simple, I enjoy serving the residents of DuPage Co. Since taking office, in 2020, I have embraced my role as Recorder. I truly appreciate the importance and the impact my office has regarding county government. We are part of the economic engine that runs the county as we are a fee-based department. We generate revenue for the county. As such, business in the Recorders office must be conducted with the highest level of professionalism and integrity. I also have a huge appreciation for the history that is contained in my office. We have land records dating back to the inception of DuPage County in 1839. It is fascinating to learn about the county I call home. Taking the historical information and making it assessable to the public is one of my on-going priorities. As technologies advance so must our ability to search our historical records. By taking a forward thinking approach, I will find the best practices to accomplish that goal.

How well has the Recorder of Deeds performed, and what qualifications would you bring to the office?

One of the first things I did when I took office was to perform an S.W.O.T. analyst. I took time for observation to learn the inner workings of the office. There were/are many strengths, I have an outstanding staff who offer excellent customer service. I identified the weakness, where redundancy existed. I learned of opportunities that were/are available. I looked at the threats, in many cases, external and out of my control. High interest rates for example. I had one-on-one discussions with my staff to learn what suggestions they had to improve office operations. After putting all the information together, I was able to streamline operations, making us more efficient. That equates to cost savings for the tax payers. I have developed good working relationships with departments across campus. Good working relationships are key to reaching out, collectively, to our residents of the county. There will always be things that can be improved upon as it is an ever-evolving task.

Describe your position on transparency in the office and the ease of access to records by the public. If you believe improvements are needed, what are they and how would you go about achieving them?

Transparency is of the utmost importance. DuPage County does a good job of making information accessible. In my office, every land related document, that’s been recorded, is accessible. The website has search capabilities you can use in the comfort of your home or you can come into my office and use one of the public workstation. The only document not accessible to the public is the military discharge papers, DD214, due to amount of personal information contained on the document. After 62 years post discharge one is allowed to request a copy of a DD214. However, it will be heavily redacted. With the increase of identity theft, I will not make this information part of the searchable repository. We follow the practice of the National Archives, we require a written request be submitted. Then one of my staff members will print off a copy, again, heavily redacted. Also, I am researching an alternative way to save/preserve document currently on microfilm.

Please list any elected office you’ve ever run for and what the result of that election was. Have you ever been appointed to fill an unexpired term?

In 2016 I ran for State Representative in, the then, District 42. I fell short of my goal. In 2018 I again ran for State Representative in, the then, District 42. And fell short of my goal. In 2020 I ran for DuPage County Recorder. I won with the highest vote count of all county-wide, contested races

Do you see any opportunity or value in merging this office with other county offices to produce efficiencies in overall county spending?

No. DuPage County government is structured to have built-in checks and balances. To merge the Recorders office with another office you will lose that oversight. In 2020, one of my opponents pushed, aggressively, to merge/dissolve the Recorders office. She tried to use a two year old study from a county half the size of DuPage to push for a binding question on the ballot. The then county board members pulled the question and insisted on a feasibility study. The study found there would be no significant savings to the county. I believe, if the office merged, it would likely cost the county tax payers more, as a department head would need to be hired. Department heads are at a higher salary than the countywide elected officials. Merging the Recorders office in a smaller county might make sense, but not in the second largest county of DuPage.

What makes you the best candidate to represent your party to seek this position?

What makes me the best person for this position is my three years of hands on experience in the office. I do not have a “learning curve.” I have the working knowledge neither of my opponents have. I understand the scope of the work. I also have the leadership skills needed to run the Recorders office. I am level-headed and pragmatic. I have introduced changes that have benefitted our operations and am always looking at ways to improve. I have an unwavering commitment to the office, my staff and to the residents of DuPage County. I am a public servant and it has been a privilege to serve as DuPage County Recorder.

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