by Mary Rupert
In the Wyandotte County register of deeds contest on the Tuesday, Nov. 5, general election ballot, incumbent Nancy Burns has opposition from Tscher Manck.
There was no primary election for this office, and it will be on ballots county-wide in the general election.
Burns has served as register of deeds since 2011 and previously worked in the county appraiser’s office for almost 14 years. She is a past Wyandotte County commissioner in the 1st District from 1992 to 1996, and she left that office when the city and county were consolidated.
Burns is currently the vice president of the Kansas Association of Register of Deeds, and if re-elected this fall, she will be president of the state association.
“I feel we’re very qualified for this job, we’re very customer service, everything is open records in our office, and we’re basically covered by state statute in our office,” Burns said at the Oct. 15 candidate forum held at KCKCC.
At a June forum, Burns said customer service was “No. 1,” and if anyone has called her office, she feels that the register of deeds office has always tried to help them.
Manck, a certified clinical hemodialysis technician, said she wanted to educate the community and have clinics to facilitate home ownership and property ownership here.
At the June candidate forum she noted that she had passed a real estate exam. A native of Wyandotte County, she attended Schlagle High School.
Manck also mentioned transparency and engaging the community to find out what is needed from the register of deeds office.
Burns started an anti-fraud program in the register of deeds office about three or four years ago. The property fraud alert will notify residents if any activity is going on with their property, if residents sign up for it, she said.
Manck said an anti-fraud program would be a good program for residents.
Some of the questions asked at the Oct. 15 forum concerned what the register of deeds office does, and should it be an elected position.
Burns said the office files about 110 different documents such as federal tax liens, mortgages and deeds. The register of deeds office is the beginning for paperwork that then goes to the clerk, county appraiser and other offices. Many other offices go to their office to get mapping information, she said.
“I encourage people if you are buying or selling property, go to a title person, go to an attorney who knows what they are doing,” Burns said. “There are certain criteria when you file a document in our office, according to statute.”
If elected, she said she would continue the customer service she has provided since 2011.
“All the people that come into my office are welcome and assisted at all times,” Burns said. “I enjoy the people. If elected again, I will continue to go out front and help the people like I always do.”
Her office is the only one in the UG, she believes, that doesn’t have a voice recording and a “press one, press two” answer for phone calls – “you get a voice,” she said.
Manck said as an elected position, the register of deeds also should be an advocate for the citizens. If the Land Bank was to bring some property confiscated from a resident, the register of deeds office should make sure they followed the proper steps to confiscate that property, Manck said.
She said a register of deeds office brochure stated that the register of deeds employees are recorders, not researchers.
“Outstanding customer service to me means going the extra mile to assist the community with anything and everything that is legal for the register of deeds office to do,” Manck said.
“I believe the register of deeds should go out and engage the community and get to know the people in the community, not just the people who own property, maybe even help the ones who want to own property one day, have some clinics for people because some people don’t know how to start or begin to purchase property,” she said.
Should the office be elected or appointed?
Burns said the question of why it is an elected position perhaps could be answered by the former consolidation committee. Perhaps it is an elected position because of all the state statutes that it is required to follow, she added.
“We are kind of a unique office as far as filing documents,” she said. There’s not a lot of other offices the register of deeds office would fit into, she said.
Manck said it should be an elected position because it leaves out any chance for bias, without someone appointing a friend or relative for their own agenda.
The Oct. 15 forum was sponsored by Business West, KCKCC and neighborhood organizations. A video of the forum is online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAcLyBxyqWY . The forums are on YouTube and also on the KCKCC cable television station.
Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 5, and the polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Voters should go to their assigned polling places and bring identification such as a driver’s license.
Past stories about the elections in 2019 are found under the category, Election 2019, on the Wyandotte Daily website, at http://wyandottedaily.com/category/election-2019/.
To contact Mary Rupert, editor, email firstname.lastname@example.org.