Voters’ Guide: Dutton seeks to derail Waters’ re-election bid | Elections
Debbie “Dunnegan” Waters is seeking her fourth consecutive four-year term as Jefferson County’s Recorder of Deeds in the Aug. 2 Republican primary election, but faces a challenge from office worker Jason Dutton. of the assessor.
No Democrats have filed for nomination, so the primary winner will be sworn in in January.
The office pays a salary of $86,120.
WATERS, 58, of Hillsboro is the outgoing Recorder of Deeds. She and her husband, Ken, have a daughter, a stepson and a grandson. She graduated from Northwest High School in 1982 and Jefferson College in 1984 with an associate’s degree in applied science.
Website/Social Media: Facebook: Debbie Dunnegan – Recorder of Deeds: Jefferson County, MO
DUTON, 47, de Soto works in the mapping department of the Jefferson County Assessor’s Office. He and his wife, Jessica, have two children. He attended Jefferson College, where he completed the Mechanical Drafting and Design Certification Program in 1996.
Website/Social Media: Facebook: Jason Dutton for recorder Website: duttonforrecorder.com
What experience do you have (elective mandate, civic organizations, volunteering, etc.) that could serve you well in this position?
Waters: In addition to being a Recorder of Deeds since 2011, I am a member of the Recorders Association of Missouri and the Jefferson County Growth Association. I have been a Children’s Camp Counselor since 2002. I served on the Grandview R-2 School Board from 2010-2013, the University of Missouri Extension Board from 2015-2017, and was a member of the ‘International Association of Clerks, Recorders, Elections. Officials and Treasurers, the Property Records Industry Association and the Jefferson County Republican Central Committee.
Duton: I have a background in geographic information systems, aerial imagery, photogrammetry, surveying, surveying and drone flight crew management, drone surveying, research consultancy, aerial triangulation and terrestrial and aerial LiDAR (detection and light ranging). After college, I worked as a contractor for the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, where I received training from the Department of Defense on protecting classified documents and data.
What are the tasks of the recorder? Why are you qualified to do them?
Waters: The Registrar’s Office was created to track ownership of real estate. The recorder ensures that records follow state laws and that recorded records can be found quickly. The Archivist’s responsibility is to ensure that all records are maintained so that in the event of a disaster, the office can be quickly restored.
Prior to being elected, I searched and reviewed land records in several counties for 10 years. I know how a chain of title works and how to index documents to make determining that chain more efficient.
Duton: The duties of the recorder are to track ownership of real estate, ensure that all documents follow guidelines set by state law, issue marriage licenses and ensure that all documents are protected. My professional background has allowed me to acquire the experience required for this position. I am currently researching recorded documents, court records and other sources to help identify ownership and chain of title.
I can decipher legal descriptions and construct property boundaries based on deeds, subdivision plans and surveys. I take great pride in working with public, legal and commercial entities to answer questions regarding ownership.
What would you do to improve customer service?
Waters: Most people do not realize that the law prohibits employees of this office from preparing documents or giving legal advice. However, my staff are highly trained and motivated to assist anyone who stops or calls on the phone in any way permitted by law. Everyone is treated with dignity and respect, whether they are there to register a deed, seek information or obtain a marriage license. You will always receive prompt service at the counter and prompt responses to your calls and emails.
Duton: I have helped many taxpayers who have had bad experiences due to poor service at the Recorder of Deeds office, which is why I decided to run for the Recorder. It is my mission that no taxpayer will leave the counter of any office I am in without an answer or at least a plan to get the help needed.
Why should voters elect you to this position? List your goals, if elected.
Waters: It takes a strong leader, but it also takes compassion and understanding for the situations people find themselves in. Hours of training are required to learn all the different documents that are saved and what information is indexed from each. Many additional hours of training are required to know what questions we can answer. I am that leader.
I am not here for a title or prestige or as a stepping stone to another political office. I am a recorder who is there to do a job and to see that it is done well.
Duton: My priority will be to improve customer service. I want to create a safe and pleasant workplace for staff and improve communication between other county offices.
I would also like to consider updating or replacing the outdated online deed search program and making it more convenient.
I’m just an average guy who sees a problem and wants to fix it.