MORRISON – Joan Padilla, the Democratic candidate for Whiteside County recorder, doesn’t think the recorder’s office should be the province of any one political party.
Republican Dawn Young, 50, has been the elected recorder for 16 years.
The two are running in Tuesday’s election.
“Historically, Whiteside County has been managed by the Republican Party, each department head running unopposed and then passing the reins to one of their own through appointment,” Padilla, 48, said in a Sauk Valley Media questionnaire. “This is not how the democratic process is supposed to work.”
She said complacency sets in after a long tenure.
“Maintaining the status quo will impede progressive decisionmaking that is required in the 21st century,” Padilla said.
Young, who has worked in the recorder’s office for 32 years, said she doesn’t believe a recorder’s party affiliation makes a difference.
“We have to declare a party,” she said in an interview. “When we go to statewide recorder meetings, we don’t even know most of the time what each other’s affiliations are.”
Padilla said she would be fine if candidates for countywide positions such as recorder didn’t run under party affiliations.
“I jumped in because I got tired of our community going to the ballot box and just seeing one person’s name,” she said.
Padilla said she would bring more enthusiasm to “embrace technology” in the recorder’s office.
Young, though, said her four-employee department already is embracing technology. In 2011, it launched online access to its records for a fee. And people can always view records at the office, she said.
Also in 2011, Young said, the department launched a Property Fraud Alert System, notifying people by email or phone when anyone attempts to record their properties. Anyone can sign up for the free service.
In her questionnaire, Padilla said she prides herself on her organizational skills. She didn’t list any current employment. But she served on the elected Sauk Valley Community College Board of Trustees from 2005 to 2011 and was alternately a trustee and president of the Whiteside-Lee Dental Hygiene Association from 1991 to 1997.
“This election cycle, the voters will have a choice,” Padilla said.
Education: Morrison High School
Employment: Whiteside County recorder
Education: Bachelor's degree from Western Illinois University in Quad Cities, associate's degree in dental hygiene
Employment: None listed