ELECTION 2012 Circuit clerk, recorder win
MORRISON, Nov 07, 2012 (Daily Gazette - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Both the Whiteside County circuit clerk and recorder prevailed in Tuesday's election.
Republican Circuit Clerk Susan Ottens received 11,504 votes, or 55.7 percent, to Democrat Karl Kovarik's 9,156, or 44.3 percent, according to unofficial results.
For recorder, Republican incumbent Dawn Young, who had held the position for 16 years, pulled in 10,695 votes, or 51.9 percent, to Democrat Joan Padilla's 9,931, or 48.1 percent.
Ottens, 57, has 24 years of experience in the circuit clerk's office. She was appointed circuit clerk in February 2011. Before that, she was chief deputy under Sheila Schipper for 6 years.
Kovarik, 48, has worked for Whiteside County for 24 years. For his first 8 years, he was an adult probation officer. For the past 16 years, he has served as the county's 911 coordinator.
In his campaign, he said that experience was important because it heavily involved technology. He also said he would work hard to improve the circuit clerk's office's technology, while Ottens contended she had already moved in that direction.
Circuit clerks statewide, she said, were moving toward an eventual Internet-based system.
"This is just the beginning of that," she said in a recent interview.
For her part, Young, 50, has worked in the recorder's office for 32 years. She was originally appointed to that position.
Padilla, 48, a former Sauk Valley Community College trustee, said she wanted to give voters a choice on the ballot. Too often in Whiteside County, she said during her campaign, Republicans served long tenures without any opposition on the ballot.
Padilla also said she would "embrace technology" in the recorder's office.
Young, though, said her four-employee department already is doing so. In 2011, it launched online access to its records for a fee. And people can always view records at the office, she said.
Also in 2011, Young said, the department launched a Property Fraud Alert System notifying people by email or phone when anyone attempts to record their properties.
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