Name: Carolyn M. Comer
Profession: Register of Deeds – Surry County
Political History: Register of Deeds from 2004 to present
Why are you seeking another term in this office?
I’ve dedicated almost my entire adult life to ensuring that our citizen’s records are safe, secure and easily accessible. I began this race concerned primarily with continuing to build on the advancements we’ve introduced, and on our achievements in efficiently recording and safeguarding the records of the people of Surry County.
I started at the bottom in the office, but through real-life, hands-on experience and years of training … I’ve achieved the distinction of being one of only 35 active registrars serving in our state to be professionally certified as an Advanced Register of Deeds.
How we do our job is prescribed by North Carolina law. We set no policy, are forbidden from offering even the most basic legal advice, and conduct all our activities in accordance with the strict guidelines established by the state.
How do you feel you can help residents of Surry County if you are re-elected?
We’ll continue to save our citizen’s tax dollars while still providing a first class Register of Deeds office.
I’ve always been fiscally conservative, but I’m especially proud that we haven’t sacrificed customer service in order to achieve our budgeting goals. During economic times like these we have to be certain we’re stretching every tax dollar as far as possible. Still, our citizens deserve a level of service and expertise they can rely on.
We’ve built a Register of Deeds office that allows us to handle virtually all our duties with increased speed and productivity.
And in one of the programs I am most proud; we’ve gone to great lengths to protect our citizens against threats they may not even realize exist.
We were the first in our state to build an online access program which protects our county’s residents against identity theft by redacting or blacking out this sensitive personal information from online document images, and limits access to identifiable users. Our program, unique to Surry County, has been endorsed unanimously by our county commissioners.
Is there one issue you feel isn’t being addressed or you would like to specifically focus on if elected?
There are several areas I’d like to have seen discussed during this campaign — issues like the state’s new and incredibly complex indexing standards, online records access and identity theft and budgeting, but that opportunity hasn’t presented itself. I’d like to mention one area however that we’re currently working on that I think will be a benefit to our citizens.
In an in-house managed program we’re building right now, we’re going to be able to monitor and notify our county’s citizens almost immediately should any unauthorized activity occur to the records of their real property regardless of where that property might be here in our county.
We’ll implement the service without adding any additional costs to our taxpayers whatsoever. And, just like with the other identity theft prevention measures we’ve adopted, it’s another program I’m certain will save someone in our county from falling victim to those who prey on the unsuspecting.
What would you like to say to the voters of Surry County?
The position of Register of Deeds is one that demands trust. And this office should just never be allowed to be about politics. We should be about public service and that’s how I’ve approached my duties since first being elected eight years ago. I believe that commitment to service is why my re-election is supported by the NC Realtors Association, and endorsed by more than 50 local attorneys.
I have the years of training and knowledge that are critical to managing the office. I’ve seen firsthand the value of experience and integrity … the value of competent, dedicated professionals loyal in their service to our county. If re-elected, I and my entire staff will continue to dedicate ourselves to providing the same quiet, competent, friendly service that have marked my years of service as Surry County Register of Deeds.
I hope our citizens will consider our record over the past 8 years and find that our performance warrants their continued support … and I ask for their vote. I simply want to continue building on the successes we’ve enjoyed … and keep this office about public service.