Illinois County Considers Eliminating Recorder of Deeds

October 18, 2011

A commissioner in Cook County, Ill. wants to eliminate the recorder of deeds office and merge duties with the county clerk.

Commissioner John Fritchey, D-Chicago, is seeking a referendum on the November 2012 ballot to combine the offices, which he says would save the county $1 million a year.

Veteran Recorder of Deeds Eugene Moore, who does not plan to seek re-election next year, rejected the idea. Moore's chief deputy, Darlena Burnett, who is considering a run for the job, doesn’t believe there’s evidence that consolidating an office with another office is going to saving money. State Rep. Karen Yarbrough, D-Maywood, who also is looking at running for recorder, said she's open to the idea but prefers reforming the office.

The two offices have a combined budget of more than $40 million a year.

Most of the state's 102 counties don't have a recorder's office. In April, voters in Tazewell County in central Illinois approved a referendum proposal to merge its recorder and county clerk offices.

If commissioners approved Fritchey's proposal, the question would then be put on the November 2012 ballot. If the proposal is approved by a simple majority, the two offices would merge in December 2015.