In an effort to inform our readers on the candidates running for public office in our county in this fall’s election an interview has been conducted with both candidates for the office of Sampson County Register of Deeds. Both candidates were asked identical questions and the responses printed are their actual answers to those questions. This is the only contested race in the county in this year’s election.
Incumbent Register of Deeds is Eleanor N. Bradshaw. She is running as the Democratic candidate for the office of Register of Deeds. Bradshaw grew up in Clinton and is a graduate of Clinton High School. She received her degree in Business from Campbell University. Bradshaw has worked in marketing and sales for over 30 years. She is the current Register of Deeds. She is married to Tommy Bradshaw and one son, Hampton and his wife, Amanda have given her two grandsons, Loden ,8 and Reece, 6. Bradshaw is a member of Carr Memorial Christian Church where she leads the children’s worship service. She is a Certified Lay Speaker from Barton College. Her hobbies include gardening loves to create flower beds. She also enjoys traveling with her grandsons. She is also a member of the Clinton Garden Club and past president and member of the Clinton Lions Club.
The Republican candidate for the office of Register of Deeds in Sharon E. Carter. She was born and raised in Sampson County and graduated from Garland High School. Carter attended Campbell College. She was previous experience as a Deputy Register of Deeds for Sampson County for 22 years. She retired from the sheriff’s office as an administrative office assistant. Currently she works as a receptionist with the North Carolina State Employee’s Credit Union. Carter is a member of First United Methodist Church in Clinton.
Question: What do you see the role of the Register of Deeds?
Carter — “The Register of Deeds serves the citizens of Sampson County. The Register of Deeds provides the recording and protection of deeds, deeds of trust, UCC filings, assumed names articles, births, deaths, marriages, military discharge. She is the custodian of the records and it is her responsibility that the records or ensured and in safe keeping.”
Bradshaw — “The role of Register of Deeds represents all the documents and validations, verifications, certifications, deeds, wills, estates, trusts and numerous kinds of agreements that people bring into the office to be recorded.To me the most important function of the Register of Deeds office, is to be a dutiful public servant. Serving the citizens of this county in a meaningful, caring and helpful manner is the number one priority.”
Question: What makes you most qualified for the position and explain?
Bradshaw — “I have had 30 plus years of public service experience. I have worked with people all my life on a one-to-one relationship. I also have a business degree. I have a certification in lay ministry. We service people here that come in with certain needs and I like to know that I can respond to their needs. I have a four-year degree from Campbell University, but most of all I have experience working one-to-one people and in this office, we need to see people face-to-face.”
Carter — “I have 22 years of hands-on experience with the Register of Deeds office. My duty was real estate indexing with knowledge of all the departments including vital record recording, maps. I worked with the Register of Deeds office in a time frame when we were doing everything with electric typewriters. And then we went into computerized indexing and Internet scanning and today its followed up to the instant recording and online marriage licenses. So I have worked with the Register of Deeds office in the beginning when it was a very simple job and now it has grown to use technology and I myself grew with that technology.”
Question: With all the talk this political season about budget tightening, do you think the Register of Deeds office needs to tighten its budget and how would you do it? Explain.
Carter — “I have reviewed the budget for the Register of Deeds office for 2012-2013. It is an excellent budget. There is a position that is open due to a retirement. With the technology available and the excellent staff in the Register of Deeds office, without a special assignment or some new technology coming in, that position probably does not need to be filled. The Register of Deeds offices has always been a pretty self-sufficient department. Through recording fees and revenue stamps they have pretty much, in my 22 years there and I am sure today, in overlooking the budget for this year it still carries itself. The Register of Deeds budget looks great to me. The only thing I see is just that one position probably does not need to be filled.”
Bradshaw — “In the past three-and-a-half years I have streamlined the recording and receiving system at no additional cost to the county. In 2012 new indexing standards were enacted by the state and our software meets all the standards required by the Secretary of States office and it also provides enhanced search capabilities for every user in the county through our website. All this was done with no additional costs. Also in 2010-2011 I had two staff members to retire and I have not replaced either of those employees. We have maintained our quality of service and our efficiency without having to hire someone in their place. The county has cut budgets to the point where we maintain and operate and I don’t see any way we could cut the budget and be any more efficient than what we are right now.”
Question: What do you see as the strengths of the Register of Deeds office, and where are its weaknesses?
Bradshaw — “The strengths of the Register of Deeds office are that we have all public records available at all times for anyone who needs a copy or needs to view them. Records are now are online, from the inception of the county, so from your home you can go to our website, www.sampsonrod.org, and you can retrieve and look at any land record that you need too. Also our vital records are updated. They have been scanned into the system.We can retrieve it on the system without having to go to the books to look it up. We recently started receiving satisfactions of trust electronically. In the next year we will have the capability to receive deeds, deeds of trust and satisfactions all electronically. This is the latest trend with the banks and mortgage companies. I really do not see any weakness in the Register of Deeds office. We are very efficient. We do all our work in a timely manner and we serve the public as soon at they walk in. I do not know how we streamline do any more than the service we currently provide whether they walk in the door or call.”
Carter — “I haven’t been associated with the Register of Deeds office since 2005, but I am prejudice to that department because I have such a passion for that department. I love it. There is a wonderful staff there. We are there to serve the citizens and to make it a user friendly environment. Continuing technology and making it user friendly to the customers, out-of-town attorneys, para-legals, just needs to continue but I truly think the Register of Deeds office is a department that all the citizens should be very proud of. And they have an excellent staff. I do not see any weakness in the Register of Deeds office.”