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Mathes challenges incumbent Best

Harrison County Recorder

October 03, 2012 | 09:37 AM

Incumbent Barbara Birkla Best, a Republican, is seeking a second term as Harrison County Recorder. She is being challenged by Democrat Debby Mathes. The position is elected to a four-year term by the voters in the entire county. The recorder is prohibited from serving more than eight years within a 12-year period. Questionnaires were sent to both candidates. Below are their responses.

D-Debby Mathes (click for larger version)
Debby Mathes

Residency: Corydon

Family: Husband Chuck Mathes, sons Mark, Michael

School and year graduated: 1979 graduate of Corydon Central High School

Additional education: 1982 graduate of Indiana State University

Occupation: Eligibility Associate for the Family Social Services Hearings and Appeals Unit

Previous political experience: This would be my first political office. I have been involved in other areas of politics which has provided me a great deal of knowledge and insight on what will be needed for all changes.

Why are you seeking the office (in 100 words or less)? Following the path of being a public servant should never be taken lightly. Putting oneself out on a limb in order to be elected for a particular position in government is a decision where careful thought should have taken place. Serving a small town or a county government will not only change their life from that point forward but will also change the course of life for everyone involved. I intend to be a valuable part of the changes for Harrison County by doing what is right for Harrison County.

What qualifies you for the office (in 100 words or less)? I have over 20 years of experience in having my own business. Dedication and hard work go hand in hand when building any business venture. Serving Harrison County as recorder takes dedication and hard work to ensure that the office is running smoothly and efficiently. Customer service has to be a priority. Information has to be accessible and easily obtained. I have the skills and experience to accomplish what is needed for this office. I am dedicated, hardworking, organized, have great attention to detail. I will do what is needed for this office and what is right for this county.

Do you think changes can be made to the office that will help improve someone's experience of interaction with the Recorder's office? If so, what (in 150 words or less)? There are always changes that can be made. What has to be considered is whether the change will be what is right for this county. Changes don't always have to take more money but just rethinking how something is currently being handled. Scanning of important documents has to be improved. Copies have to be readable and usable or the money spent for the scanning is wasted. Companies that are currently being used for any process of that office will be evaluated for cost, accuracy and efficiency. Being able to quickly access a needed document, without costing the individual or the county any more money, is important. Every person working in the office will be able to do every step of all jobs. Having staff fully trained means no micro-managing. Working as a team will get more accomplished than having a team but being the only one doing the work.

Contact information for voters:

R-Barbara Birkla Best (click for larger version)
Barbara Birkla Best

Residency: Corydon

Family: Sons Mickey Dalhoff, Chase Best; daughter Jade Crawhorn; grandchildren Justin, Gavin, Drew, Brinley and Isabella

School and year graduated: Lanesville 1956-67; graduate Floyd Central 1968

Additional education: 57 hours accredited Recorders training curriculum as required and approved by the State Board of Accounts; Indiana University Southeast course studies business and economics

Occupation: Public servant to the office of Harrison County Recorder.

Previous political experience: Nearly 4 years as Harrison County Recorder.

Why are you seeking the office (in 100 words or less)? I have had the privilege of serving as county recorder, and I have worked hard to make the Recorder's office the BEST it can be because I believe that all of us expect and deserve the most from the people we elect. I want to continue the advancements in online accessibility, customer service and consumer protection to ensure that they become permanent institutional practices. I care about the people's needs, and I love my job.

What qualifies you for the office (in 100 words or less)? When I campaigned in 2008, I made ambitious promises about making the Recorder's office faster, more service oriented and less costly. I am pleased to report that WE delivered on every one of those promises. I am motivated. I had a plan in place and wanted to accomplish something outside of the ordinary routine. There's a lot of work still to be done to bring the office up to the next generation of user standards. I have the knowledge and desire to carry out the job at hand.

Do you think changes can be made to the office that will help improve someone's experience of interaction with the Recorder's office? If so, what (in 150 words or less)? After three months in office, I knew that, in order to implement change and to achieve my goals, I had to throw out the concept of "That's the way we've always done it." I have made the necessary changes to improve the public's interaction with the Recorder's office. Cut use of tax dollars $32,000 last 2 years from General Fund, cross-trained employees to do while-you-wait recordings and instructed public users to search their personal records, implemented cutting-edge technology for better accuracy, Internet access 24/7, Disaster Recovery Replication within hours, digital imaged additional 40 years of data, imaged all deeds from 1809 to present and oversized surveys. Do you, the people, think I can do more? Just tell me what you want and I will see if I can. Thank you for your consideration, and I would appreciate your vote.

Contact information for voters: or 738-9811

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Corydon Democrat, 301 N. Capitol Ave., Corydon, IN 47112 1-812-738-2211 email