LISBON - Both candidates for the county recorder position say improvements are needed at the office, and records could be more properly maintained.
During a candidate forum hosted by the Morning Journal and WKBN First-News/Fox 17/62 Wednesday evening, Republican Theresa Bosel and Democrat Brenda Dickey Myers addressed what they believe to be the biggest issue to tackle if elected to the position currently held by Democrat Craig Brown.
Bosel said efficiency is needed at the office located in the courthouse and that efficiency would help foster a relationship with Chesapeake Energy, the Oklahoma-based oil and gas company that already owns the mineral rights to thousands of acres of county land.
The company has previously complained about the turn-around time on oil and gas records, and even put money toward digitizing some records in order to help alleviate the amount of traffic in the courthouse.
The records were digitized following Brown's request to county commissioners, who approved after some deliberation. The process was paid for through funds from Chesapeake and a $100,000 interest-free state loan.
Bosel said there is still a "high amount of traffic" there despite the records being digitized.
"Even though the records are digitized there are ways to make it (the office) more efficient," she said.
Dickey Myers also said the thousands of oil and gas leases aren't recorded in a timely manner, creating a backflow and making it difficult to research.
She added that an inventory of records is needed and that some are in poor condition and even missing pages.
She also said that if elected she would work to bring direction to the office and improve employee morale, which she said is currently low.
She believes her 28 years of experience in farming and being a small business owner makes her the right candidate for the position.
A Salem resident, she was most recently an administrator/sales representative for 21st Century Alarm/Data in Salem. She has also previously worked as an administrator for the Mahoning County Soil and Water Conservation District.
Bosel said that if elected she will "be a good steward of your money" and work on the "revenue issues" in the county.
She believes the county will benefit from the oil and gas boom and she said she will work closely with Chesapeake Energy to see those benefits realized.
Her experience includes 12 years in contract and budget management. She lives in Salem.
The recorder term is four years.