Recorder Candidates List Experiences, Expertise For Position

Pictured (L to R) are Kosciusko County Recorder candidates Teena Pence and Deb Wright. Photo by David Slone, Times-Union

Republican candidates for county recorder Teena Pence and Deb Wright were asked three questions during Wednesday’s candidate forum about themselves, the role of recorder and their abilities.

The forum was organized through a partnership of the Kosciusko Chamber of Commerce, Kensington Media, Times-Union and InkFree News.

The first question asked was for the candidates to introduce themselves and say why they were running for county recorder.

Pence said she grew up in Warsaw and graduated from Tippecanoe Valley High School. She has “navigated life with the same great guy for 18 years,” Kenny Rogers.

“We share four adult children and we’re expecting our third grandchild in just a couple weeks,” she said.

Running for county recorder was the next logical step for her. She’s been with the county for almost 14 years and is familiar with many of its operations, currently serving as a financial deputy for the county auditor. She says she’s entrusted with all aspects of county finance and supports many commissions and manages all state and federal grants the county was awarded. She is specialized in records management in every position she’s filled.

Wright said she’s currently the chief deputy recorder.

She’s married to her husband, Andy, and they have a daughter. Her family is from Winona Lake.

She has worked in the recorder’s office for 23 years and has served two terms as county recorder. She said she is qualified for the office because she has served in the role before and has performed all the duties necessary to successfully run the office of recorder.

During her first time as recorder, Wright said she made a lot of technological upgrades, which saved the county money and saved people time and money in recording and searching for documents.

The second question asked was for the candidates to describe the role and skill sets of a county recorder.

Wright said to be a good leader, you have to have a true desire to serve people. To be successful, a person would have to know what the office does, which includes recording requirements, recording fees, storage requirements, Indiana codes and State Board of Accounts guidelines the office has to go by. The person would have to have experience on the administrative sides, such as preparing the budget, employee records, disciplinary actions and payroll.

In every role she’s had, she’s had some sort of customary service duties.

Pence said the skills necessary for the county recorder role are organization, attention to detail, problem solving and researching abilities. She said each of those skills are strengths of hers. Working in finance, she’s developed and understands the county’s financial obligations and is aware of prioritizing the budget.

The last question that was asked was what skills, abilities and experiences the candidates possess that make them the best candidate for the position.

Pence said she has a sincere and genuine desire to serve her community. She’s been dealing with the county for a long time and has been known as a person to contact for friendly and dependable customer service and has taken great pride in her ability to provide that. She said she is financially responsible because she was a single mother for several years so she knows how to operate a budget. She’s said she’s confident her skills and abilities are more than sufficient to operate the county recorder’s office.

Wright said the office is basically self-funded except for the salary of the recorder, which is something she will look at. She said, as for skills and experiences, she has been the county recorder before. She said she performed the role well and with many accolades. She said those experiences make her qualified.