Recorder candidates to appear at Feb. 27 forumWritten by Brigitta Burks | News Editor | BBurks@toledofreepress.com
Voters can meet candidates for the Lucas County Recorder position at Candidate Night on Feb. 27.
Candidates Kevin Eff, George Sarantou and James Seaman said they plan to attend the forum put on by the Children of Liberty at West Toledo Branch Library. At press time, candidate Phillip Copeland said he does not plan to attend.
“[Children of Liberty] really kind of strives to educate voters. One of the best ways to educate voters is to do these kind of events,” said John McAvoy, event organizer, of the conservative group’s decision to put on the forum. Jeanine Perry, current recorder, or a representative from her office will give a presentation on what the recorder does.
The recorder’s office is responsible for indexing and maintaining land records like deeds, liens and mortgages in addition to military records. Sarantou is the only Republican on the March 6 primary ballot for the position. The three Democrats will run to see who faces him in the fall. The candidates are:
The at-large councilman since 2005 decided to run because he is termed out of City Council at the end of his current tenure. Copeland is also the business manager for Local 500 and has been employed there since the late ’60s. Before making too many plans, Copeland said he would like to get acquainted with the staff and position first. “I want to go and be a part of it and I may have some ideas when I get in there,” he said. Copeland did say he would work to make the office friendly toward businesses and out-of-town contractors.
The private practice attorney touts his experience working with about 20 recorders’ offices across the area. The plan for his first 90 days in office includes implementing a system to double-check deputy clerks’ work for indexing errors, inspired by two spelling errors he found last month in records. “Lucas County is one of the best if not the best, but there’s still room for improvement,” he said. Eff said he would also enlist think tanks to determine whether a recorder is still necessary as an elected official position. He would also continue the digitization of records prior to 1985 and set a timeline to have the process completed. Eff said he would seek out grants to accomplish his goals.
The lone Republican is also an at-large councilman near the end of his term limit. Sarantou, who works for Brennan Financial, cited his love of public service and experience. “For the last 30 years, I’ve been in the financial services and I’ve handled thousands of documents,” he said. He also serves as Council’s financial committee chairman. Sarantou said he would continue the efficiency displayed by Perry and move forward to modernize the office with a focus on security.
The part-time school counselor has been on Oregon City Council since 1989. “I really think that the [recorder’s] office is being run quite well and I want to continue on the same positive track,” he said. He prides himself on getting through the recession without any layoffs or benefit cuts in Oregon. Seaman said he would also continue to modernize the office and potentially create an outreach program with satellite offices open at select times so county residents wouldn’t have to make trips Downtown.
Candidate Night is 6:45 p.m. Feb. 27 at West Toledo Branch Library, 1320 Sylvania Ave. Toledo. For more information, call (419) 787-9585. Toledo Free Press Editor In Chief Michael S. Miller will moderate the forum.