Mason, Scott vying for Scott County recorder of deeds

Friday, July 29, 2022

BENTON, Mo. ó Scott County voters have several local issues on the ballot in the Aug. 2 primary. One local race involves recorder of deeds.

On the Republican ballot, voters will decide between: incumbent Tara L. Mason and John R. Scott. The following is a Q&A with each candidate.

Describe your background

MASON: I began working in the Recorders Office as a deputy clerk in 2002 under Tom Dirnberger, who was the Recorder of Deeds. As a deputy I got to learn first-hand of all the importance of being a record keeper but also what it took behind the scenes to keep the office running efficiently. In August 2011, I was appointed Recorder. In November 2012 I was elected in a special election to serve as the Recorder of Deeds. I knew I had to continue to run the office with the same integrity tax payers have known for years.

SCOTT: In 1980, my wife Linda and two daughters moved to Sikeston from Memphis. I was hired to create a mortgage operation for the First National Bank of Sikeston (Montgomery Bank). It was very successful and the bank formed a mortgage banking company, Continental Mortgage Company, of which I was president. I later formed my own mortgage company followed by a title insurance company which had contracts with the Corps of Engineers, Missouri Highway Department and other national companies. Prior to moving to Sikeston, I was community president of Unifirst Federal Saving and Loan and South Haven, Mississippi and managed their mortgage operation in Memphis.

What issues do you feel are most important to Scott County?

MASON: In regards to the Scott County Recorderís office, in August 2018 new marriage laws went into effect. The legislature raised the minimum age to be able to obtain a marriage license with parentsí consent to 16. Additionally, the bill prohibits the marriage of any individual age 21 or older with anyone under the age of 18. Before this law took place for example a 15-year-old child with one guardians signature could legally marry a 75-year-old adult. This piece of legislature is a pathway into creating a safer world for our children.

SCOTT: I feel the most important issues to Scott County is maintaining a great relationship with the citizens of Scott County. Providing exceptional service which is very important and should always be maintained. Keeping the public informed with any changes forthcoming and reaching out to their needs.

If elected, what are your priorities?

MASON: In serving the office for the last 20 years, my priorities have never changed. I put great pride in serving Scott County with the best possible customer service from myself as well as my deputies. We want to help anyone to the best of our ability when it comes to their property and/or marriage records. I believe that it is very important for the records to be protected and preserved with the highest priority. I have taken many training courses on the correct and best way to preserve records as itís a big part of history.

SCOTT: When elected, my main priority will be to see that all documents in the recorderís office are maintained safe, secure and guarded against unauthorized removal. I will keep employees trained and updated when any changes are made. Protecting against title fraud is key.

If elected, what changes would you like to implement?

MASON: I would like to continue to get the word out that it is completely free to record your military discharge paperwork. We will file it so that you can always get a certified copy for free if you ever need. Also the software company we use for recording documents also has a feature that allows you to get an email anytime a document gets recorded in your name which is a good way to make sure there are no fraudulent documents being recorded in your name. although, it does not happen often it will give you peace of mind.

SCOTT: When elected, I will have an open door policy for citizens entering the recorderís office during working hours. The doors to the recorderís office and my office will not be closed unless there is as meeting, private conversation requested by a citizen with an issue, or training is going on.

Why should voters choose you?

MASON: I humbly ask for your vote. I believe that with my experience and knowledge of this position I have the capability to keep the office running competently. Every person that walks through my door or calls this office is treated with the upmost respect. In addition to my experience I am a very active member of the Recorderís Association of Missouri. I currently serve as the Treasurer of the association, I am an executive board member, and a member of the legislative committee. Being on the legislative committee has allowed me to be a voice in the decision making on bills and statutes regarding to the Recorders office. I take pride in being able to serve the great people of Scott County. On Aug. 2 please come out and vote for experience, vote for Tara Mason!

SCOTT: Voters should elect me as their Scott County Recorder of Deeds because of my years of experience in banking, mortgage banking and title insurance. My knowledge of working with real estate documents and resolving problems are something I am very experienced with. I have served as vice chairman of the Southeast Missouri advisory for housing, Southeast Missouri Building Association, Sikeston Board of Adjustment and Airport Board, American Institute of Financial Services, American Institute of Banking, Saving and Loan Institute, personal business and management school, chairman of the board of American Biological Products, real estate instructor at Northwest Junior College and I am an FAA licensed pilot with single and multi-engine ratings. Please vote John R. Scott as your Scott County Recorder of Deeds.

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