The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

June 24, 2013

Experience, people skills back up decisions to run for county recorder

OTTUMWA — Voters will have a choice in their next county recorder, something not typically seen in special elections.

On July 9, voters will cast a ballot for either Lisa Kent, Betty Stromgren or Mary Margaret Riedel-Butler, all gunning for the position of Wapello County recorder.

"One of the top reasons I'm running is any time you can advance your career and learn more knowledge, that's a plus," said Stromgren, currently the county board of supervisors' office manager. "And I think the citizens should have a choice. It's typical for Wapello County to only have one person run for an office, and I just feel more people should be interested in public service, in public offices, to get their name out there and give it a try."

Stromgren said her experience as office manager qualifies her for the job, as does her 16 years working for Wapello County. She began working in the county auditor's office for two years before changing jobs to the board of supervisors, where she has worked for the last 14 years.

"Even in this position, I do my work for the citizens of Wapello County," she said. "They are, kind of, my employers."

Lisa Kent, the county's deputy recorder for nearly 11 years, has filled in for the recorder position left vacant by Joyce Hass' retirement in May.

"Right now I'm doing the day-to-day duties of the recorder since she left," Kent said. "It's an increase in the workload because she did electronic filings, and now I'm doing them every day. There's a lot of additional bookkeeping, so it's of increased importance that everything be accurate."

Running for recorder "seemed like the natural thing to do," Kent said.

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