Two on ballot for county recorder

The elected position of Bartholomew County recorder is responsible for maintaining many different official records ranging from deeds to military discharges.

Republican Tamara L. “Tami” Hines is hoping voters will provide her with a second consecutive term in November. She is being challenged by a young Democrat hoping to lay the foundation for a political future, Jacob Thayer Lashley.

Q: What skills or background does it take to be a good county recorder? Do you feel confident you have those skills?

Hines: I’m confident because I have great staff. While I did not know everything I needed to know about being recorder when I first took office, I’ve learned a great deal from them. But the elected official is more of an administrator, so from being county clerk, I was experienced in doing payroll, retention requirements for records, following state regulations and continuing my training.

Lashley: Attention to detail, having an understanding with others working in the office and maintaining good communication with other political offices. I feel I have these qualities to the degree that I can do what is necessary and expected.

Q: The Doxpop Property Watch has just been introduced to let property owners know when their land comes up in a transaction. To your knowledge, has fraudulent activity involving property been a regular concern in the past? If so, what is the most common activity?

Hines: Thankfully, there hasn’t been a great need for this locally. But every day, I’m hearing about people who are constantly thinking of different ways to scam people. While we are not aware of any of that activity going on in Bartholomew County right now, it’s very prevalent in neighboring states. It’s probably a matter of time before these scams are tried here, so it’s good to be ahead of the curve.

Lashley: That is interesting to learn. But I’m not sure how this would pertain to in the office. I think the sheriff’s department would become involved if someone owes property taxes after something like that.

Q: Many records are being scanned to be stored digitally? If the digital equipment were to break down, would the recorder’s office still have access to the original hard copies?

Hines: Indiana code says we have to keep those big, thick books full of several types of original records. And we are required by law to also microfilm them. But microfilm is hard for everyday people to use, so we’ve added this digital layer. It really was God-sent when COVID-19 hit because digital records allowed us to continue doing business online.

Lashley: I’m sure there are still numerous file cabinets, given a brownout or anything short of a (electromagnetic) pulse blast. I’m sure the capability is still there to manually archive and keep records.

Why are you running for this particular office?

Hines: I enjoy the job, and think the county is a great place to work. I like the people I work with, I like serving our taxpayers, and I like helping people solve problems.

Lashley: Ultimately, I’m trying to get my feet wet in the political system. Recorder is more focused on serving the public, so you don’t have to dive into the politics that you would for higher-profile offices. I see it as a potential stepping stone for other political offices.

Hines

Name: Tami Hines (R)

Age: 61

Address: Bartholomew County

Previous elected positions: Served seven years as Bartholomew County clerk, beginning in 2008

Current employer: Bartholomew County government.

Educational background: Graduated from Columbus East High School in 1978. Has taken continuing education classes.

Community Service: Bartholomew County Farm Bureau board member, Bartholomew County Homemakers’ ‘Kids and Kittles’, volunteer at Elizabethtown Methodist Church, past member of Rotary Club and served as a community liaison for Clarity Pregnancy Care Center.

Family: Husband, DeWayne. Three adult children and two grandchildren.

Lashley

Name: Jacob Thayer Lashley (D)

Age: 27

Address: Columbus

Previous elected positions: None

Current employer: Independent contractor for Allen Electric

Educational background: Graduated from Columbus North High School in 2014. Received his bachelor of arts degree in psychology from Indiana University in 2018.

Community Service: Volunteered with Axis-Ability

Family: Single