The Utah County commission voted Wednesday to approve a change to the staffing plan adding 17 full-time employees to the Utah County Recorder’s office.
The proposal will allow the Recorder’s Office, which keeps and indexes real estate ownership records, to hire six employees performing “faithful recording”, seven mapping employees and two employees working in customer service.
Before the change was approved on Wednesday, the Recorder’s Office had a staffing plan of 34 employees, which is fewer employees than the office had before the 2008 recession.
The committee first considered the proposed staffing plan change at its June 9 meeting, but Commissioner Bill Lee requested more time to analyze data from the Recorder’s Office to see if the increase in staffing levels would be necessary.
Lee said on Wednesday that he “found some areas of concern to me,” including that the proposal would give the Utah County Registrar’s Office the same number of employees as the Salt Lake County Registrar’s Office.
“For me, looking at the numbers and having the conversations, I’m not ready to go to that level (of staffing),” Lee said. “I would rather we take a step back, revisit and analyze where we are at to see if our numbers hold up.”
But Commissioner Amelia Powers Gardner, formerly Utah County Clerk / Auditor, noted that the Salt Lake County Registrar’s Office has a budget of around $ 6 million, while the Registrar’s Office of the Utah County has a budget of approximately $ 3 million.
“So they (Salt Lake County) have about 51 (staffing plan employees), but they also have double the budget, which means they have the capacity to save documents in a much larger way. effective because they have access to technology that we don’t have. I don’t have, “Gardner said.” So I have a hard time comparing us to them as they literally have twice as many access to efficiency and technology. ”
Gardner continued, “And so I think we compare apples and oranges when we compare ourselves to Salt Lake County, in terms of how many documents they can save. Because I can tell you that if I had an extra $ 3 million we could do things a lot more efficiently in many areas.
Gardner also noted that the new employee positions would be funded using fees collected by the Recorder’s Office, not taxpayer dollars, following a 2019 law passed by the Legislature of the State of Utah “because the recorder’s offices in the counties of the state did not have the resources they needed to do their jobs properly.”
“And so it is we who are reacting to this change in fees,” she said.
Commissioner Tom Sakievich said he agreed that there is a “uniqueness” between the counties of Utah and Salt Lake that makes comparisons difficult and said he supports changing the staffing plan.
The committee voted 2-1 to approve the change, with Gardner and Sakievich voting for and Lee voting against.
The three commissioners said they would support a future review of the registrar’s office to ensure the office meets performance and productivity metrics.
Utah County Recorder Andrea Allen told commissioners she would work to improve the office’s efficiency and performance.
“So I just wanted you to know that we are doing our best, we are working hard,” Allen said.
Connor Richards covers government, the environment and southern Utah County for the Daily Herald. He can be reached at [email protected] and 801-344-2599.