County board candidate wants to eliminate recorder's office

  • Connie Shanahan

    Connie Shanahan

  • Chuck Bartels

    Chuck Bartels

  • Terri Voss

    Terri Voss

Posted2/7/2014 5:09 PM

A Republican Lake County Board candidate believes the county recorder's office should be eliminated and the staff's work handled by the county clerk.

Connie Shanahan said the two offices -- now run by independently elected politicians -- should be merged. He made the comments Friday during a conversation with 10th District candidates at the Daily Herald's Libertyville office.


The other Republicans in the race, Chuck Bartels and Terri Voss, also participated in the hourlong session. They weren't as gung-ho to do away with the office, now run by Democrat Mary Ellen Vanderventer.

The 10th District includes a large portion of Mundelein and some parts of neighboring towns. All three GOP candidates for the post are from Mundelein.

Incumbent board member Diana O'Kelly, a Republican, isn't seeking re-election.

The GOP hopefuls will face off in the March 18 primary. A Democrat isn't running.

The candidates were asked about the county's finances, their motivations for running and other issues during the session.

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Shanahan raised the issue of abolishing the recorder's office.

The staff records deeds and mortgages, military discharge papers and other legal documents. The county clerk's office oversees elections and voter registration, issues marriage licenses and maintains various records.

Shanahan, a Fremont Township board member, said closing the recorder's office would save the county money.

"There's a lot of overhead that we could eliminate with that," he said.

The idea isn't new. It gained some local attention in 2012 when Republican Bob Bednar ran for recorder.

Bednar suggested asking voters to approve eliminating the office through a referendum.

Bednar lost. This year, he's running for the GOP nomination in state House's 51st District against veteran incumbent Ed Sullivan Jr.

After Shanahan suggested merging the two offices, Bartels and Voss were asked about the proposal.


Bartels, a consultant, didn't endorse the idea -- but he didn't reject it, either.

"I won't say what should be done, but I think it's worthwhile looking at it," he said.

Bartels said he wasn't knowledgeable enough about the office's operations to opine about whether the two should merge.

Voss, a Mundelein trustee, said she hasn't looked into the matter. She said she'd like more information about potential job crossover between the two staffs "to see what kind of consolidations can be made."

Earlier in the interview, Voss suggested job sharing and cross-training county employees to do multiple jobs as ways to save money and increase efficiency.

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