Voters in Lake County have been asking for the recorder of the deeds office to merge with the county clerk’s office for more than two years. This will happen on Thursday.
And if everything goes as planned, officials say the public won’t notice any difference. The chief deputy in the recorder’s office, Cynthia Pruim-Haran, will move to the clerk’s office with the other non-elected employees of the recorder’s office.
“People won’t notice a difference right away. We’re on the same floor, have the same phone numbers, and the same great staff “Pruim-Haran, who has worked in the office for nine years, said.
They will work for the part of the Lake County clerk’s office that will be called the recording division. If you sent a check to the old office, you should now make it out to the Lake County Clerk.
Anthony Vega is going to be sworn in as county clerk on Thursday morning. He said that Pruim-Haran and the rest of the recorder’s staff deserve the credit for how well the merger went.
After the merger, these employees will still keep records of real estate deals, military discharge papers, and other documents. However, Pruim-Haran said that there will be more cross-training with the clerk’s office. The clerk’s office is in charge of elections and keeps records of births, marriages, and deaths, among other things.
Since all of the recorder’s office staff is staying on and won’t be moving from their longtime office space on the sixth floor of the county building in Waukegan, the only initial cost savings will be the salary of the outgoing recorder, which was about $127,874 in 2020.
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There is a chance that the two offices will merge even more, but Pruim-Haran said there are no plans right now.
“We’re going to keep doing good things for the people of Lake County,” she said, using one of Mary Ellen Vanderventer’s favorite phrases. Vanderventer was first elected recorder in 1996, and her last day on the job was Wednesday.
In June 2020, the Lake County Board voted 20-0, with Vanderventer’s brother, Waukegan Democrat Bill Durkin, being the only one to vote against putting the question of a merger to the voters. That fall, 206,781 people voted for the idea and 96,067 people voted against it.
In the last newsletter from her office to the public, Vanderventer thanked voters for giving her the job and letting her serve for seven terms. “I’ve enjoyed doing good things for you, and I know everything will be taken care of,” she wrote.
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