Brenda Nelson is the current County Recorder for Morgan County. Nelson is facing off against Kimlyn Porter for the recorder job in the Fall election.
Nelson is a 21 year resident of Morgan County. She grew up in Sunset and lived in Clearfield, but moved to find a great place for raise a family. She found what she was looking for in Morgan County. She has five children, two still living in Morgan, and five grandchildren. She has been very involved in the schools as her children attended, and she continues to volunteer time to help students with reading and other programs. She also has served on the PTA and worked to improve the recognition students received for their achievements in art and photography through the Reflections program.
Nelson began working in the recorders office as a part-time deputy recorder in Oct of 1993. In 1995 she became the first permanent full time deputy recorder in the county.
The recorder's office has responsibility for the records of property, the ownership of this property, and the history of ownership. The recorder's office also provides records to the assessor of land ownership for tax assessment and notices. They record transactions related to the land, including transfer of ownership, changes in boundaries, subdivisions, and foreclosures.
Nelson has seen many changes in the recorder's office over the years. When she began working in the office she reported to Florence Whitear and then to Denise Weaver.
They implemented changes in the office, and Nelson learned from their experience during her tenure working with them.
Nelson ran for, and won, the recorder position in 1999. She has since then been re-elected two additional times. She says, “I love the job and working for the citizens of Morgan County.”
Nelson's experience as a deputy recorder gave her the knowledge to make improvements in the office after holding the recorder position. She has worked to make the office run more smoothly and efficiently, and create order in the county’s land records. During her tenure as recorder she has implemented:
• The scanning of documents so that they can be viewed on computer. There is no need now to search through the books for the relevant documents.
• She reorganized the cataloging of land documents so that the individual parcels could be more quickly identified and that the history was tied together over time. This has saved the office many hours of work as they research the ownership of the land.
• In 2001 she supervised the transition of the county’s land records to a new software system that enhanced the county’s ability to manage the land records.
• When the county’s budgets would not support expensive software for drawing parcel maps on a computer, she found a much less expensive alternative to meet the office’s needs.
• She initiated the work in the County to establish a GIS system that will allow the county to expand its mapping capability to include voting district boundaries, zoning information, and more accurate parcel descriptions and maps over time.
• She implemented a new system to allow the title companies, for a fee, to access the county land records remotely to perform title searches and record land changes more efficiently and without necessitating a trip to the recorders office.
Nelson believes that a recorder should have the skills to perform all of the functions in the office. The staff in the recorders office is small. It includes Nelson, two deputy recorders, and a mapping specialist. This staff records more than 6,500 changes per year. This is nearly triple the workload from when Nelson originally took office. The small office means that a recorder who understands and can perform all the duties is incredibly valuable. The ability to provide training, backup, and make improvements based on their knowledge is essential for the position in Nelson’s view.
Nelson discussed the importance of this role for the county. It is important so that property is recorded correctly and ownership is correctly established. She also said, “We [the recorders office] are the start of the taxation process. We provide the serial number, acreage, legal description, mailing address, and legal description of the property as well as the maps as what is on the tax records, based on the deeds which were recorded in our office. The ownership of real property is responsible for the taxes assessed. The Assessor bases their work upon the information turned over to that office by the Recorder, the Clerks office sends out the disclosures and in turn the Treasure collects taxes which was assessed. Therefore it is the responsibility of the Recorder of ensure that records accurately reflect the status of each parcel within the county.”
Nelson expressed that she loves the job and serving the people in Morgan and over the years has put in many hours in ensuring that the office kept up with the load of requests and made improvements to increase the quantity and quality of work that can be done by the office.
She feels she is the best candidate to fill the position because of her experience, her dedication, her ability to manage and train the staff, and her capability to perform all the functions of the office. She hopes that voters will look at the skills of the candidates, how much time the candidate will devote to the job, and how much training the individual will need to be effective for the job.