Voters in both Winnebago and McHenry counties overwhelmingly approved merging the office of Recorder of Deeds into the office of County Clerk in referenda on the March 20 primary ballot.
About 70 percent of Winnebago County voters chose to combine the offices in a binding referendum.
Winnebago County Board Chairman Frank Haney says he knew most citizens agreed with the consolidation proposal, but he says he had no idea that so many residents would be in favor of it.
“So the fact that it was so overwhelmingly supported in the vote tallies, I think, is a mandate to continue to have other discussions around consolidation,” Haney said.
Haney says the county is on track to have the two offices merged by December 2020. He says the new clerk that will be elected in November will have two years to plan for the consolidation.
Meanwhile, nearly 80 percent of McHenry County voters were in favor of combining the county clerk and recorder offices. That’s according to unofficial voting results from last week’s primary election.
Joe Tirio, the McHenry County Recorder, says he’s glad to see that the vast majority are in favor of an opportunity to reduce the cost of government. He adds that there’s value in having the general public participate in local political activities, like voting and being more involved in executing policy.
“Because, perhaps through those things, we’ll get more creative and useful solutions to some of the problems that plague our government,” Tirio said.
Tirio says the new clerk who will be elected in November will have two years to plan for the consolidation. He is also the Republican candidate for county clerk, and part of his platform running for recorder was his proposal to merge the two offices.
About three quarters of Illinois counties currently have combined clerk and recorder offices.