Re-elected city clerk talks about putting more city records on-line

City Clerk Linda Stock, elected to her third term in last week’s election, said she’s happy she gets a chance to continue a string of improvements she’s been working on in the city clerk’s office.

Stock beat challenger Charles Montalbano, a Democrat, 6904 to 4690 to hold onto the seat.

“I’m very happy about it,” Stock said several days after the election. “I’m happy to have my job and be part of the team.”

Since she’s been in office, Stock and her staff have been working to put more of their office’s information on line so people can access it more easily.

The office is in the process now of putting land records on the website, so people can look up deeds and such from their own homes. There is a fee to access the information online because an outside company maintains the site, but people can save copying costs now by printing the documents from their own printer if they want to.

Stock said she has been applying for grants each year to pay for a company to come in and scan land records so they can be put online. And if there’s any downtime in the office, the clerks scan records, too, though their scanners are not nearly as fast and efficient as the outside company’s.

The office is also in the process of going to a new system for computerized land records, one that will be faster, cheaper and more efficient, she said.

It costs money to modernize and computerize an office as busy as the city clerk’s, “but we still have to move along,” Stock said.

The office is working toward getting a credit/debit card machine in the office for easier payments, and is working on an E-file system that will allow attorneys to submit land records and other documents electronically. That too will save time and money for all involved, Stock said.

“We have a lot of changes in the process, and a lot that’s been done,” Stock said. “As an office, we meet often and we all work together.”

Montalbano graciously accepted defeat in the race for the city clerk job at Democratic headquarters Tuesday night, delivering a speech sprinkled with humor.

“This isn’t the speech I wanted to give,” he said good-naturedly after most of the ballots had been counted.

“It’s a rare moment when you can lose a race and still claim victory,” he said, referring to the wins by the Democrats overall that night.

“I’ll go to work tomorrow at Verizon Wireless, but don’t call me with any complaints because I won’t be in the mood,” he joked.

Montalbano concluded his speech seriously, saying, “As a team, we have won tonight.”