Madison County voters eliminate office of recorder of deeds

Madison County voters eliminate office of recorder of deeds

Madison County voters decided Nov. 6 that responsibilities such as recording land transfers and maintaining deeds no longer justify a separate office for an elected official.

Voters handed Madison County Recorder of Deeds Amy Meyer a pink slip Nov. 6, but she’ll have until the end of 2020 before making her exit.

Meyer’s duties recording the county’s land transfers and maintaining property deeds will now be the responsibility of the Madison County clerk’s office, after county voters overwhelmingly approved a referendum question asking whether to consolidate the two offices.

Meyer had argued that the measure would overwhelm the county clerk without saving any money. “Any cuts to this office will have no direct impact on taxes,” Meyer said.

Voters disagreed. Meyer earned $109,990 last year. Taxpayers will save on the Meyers’ annual salary, in addition to pension and health care benefits.

Madison County board members voted in February to put the resolution on the ballot, stating that few of Illinois’ 102 counties elect a separate recorder of deeds. They noted that Cook County eliminated its recorder in 2016.

Meyer was first elected in 2012 and ran unopposed in 2016. Her current term doesn’t expire until Dec. 7, 2020, which is when her office will merge with the county clerk.

Voters in neighboring communities peeled away two other layers of government Nov. 6, eliminating Godfrey Township and the Collinsville Area Recreation District. Godfrey Township shared boundaries with the village of Godfrey, indicating that the township was an unnecessary and expensive layer of government. The recreation district attracted voter ire by accumulating $21 million in debt.

Alton Township was also on the chopping block Nov. 6, but 57 percent of voters decided to keep it. Alton Township shares identical boundaries with the city of Alton, but will remain a separate government unit responsible for conducting property assessments and providing general aid. Alton Township spent $904,722 last year, running a deficit.

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