Op/Ed: The importance of a good deed

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By Chris Pielli, Special to The Times

Chris Pielli

Why do people run for political office?  Ideally, it should be to serve the public and put the public’s interest above all other interests, including your own.   I think of Sophocles’ famous quote –“To be doing good deeds is man’s most glorious task.”  I have always tried to keep this in mind.  As a veteran, I have served my country. As a Township Supervisor, I have served my township. As a lawyer, I served my clients and local nonprofits. Now I would like to offer my entire skill set to serve Chester County as your next Recorder of Deeds.

Unless you have experienced certain events in your life – military discharge, purchasing a home, recording a power of attorney — you probably have not interacted with the Recorder of Deeds office. But I have. Being an attorney, I often work with this office and I strongly believe it’s time we have an open and honest conversation about how it has been run.

I believe full time taxpayers deserve a full time Recorder of Deeds. There is no way to lay the foundation for future success in this office without being there full time. Unfortunately, records recently obtained from Right to Know requests initiated in April 2019, seem to indicate that this is not the case with your current Recorder and Republican County Chairman Rick Loughery.

From my own personal experience as a lawyer, every time I would file a deed or conduct a transaction, Mr. Loughery was not present. This was disturbing to me because I feel strongly that a public servant should be available to serve his/her constituents and lead the department on a full-time basis.   After all, the salary is approximately $75,000 a year with full benefits. For the average working citizen, this is a considerable income and therefore deserves a substantial commitment.  This is a commitment I look forward to making.

The title of Recorder of Deeds is preceded by the term “Honorable” as in the Honorable Jane Doe–Recorder of Deeds. Truthfully, it is an honor to be elected and to serve in a position of public trust. As a West Goshen Township Supervisor, it is an honor to have worked with Republicans and Democrats to balance budgets every year I served. Moreover, I had the honor to serve my country in the U.S. Army and my County as a Correctional officer and Court appointed attorney.

If given the opportunity to be elected this November as your next Recorder of Deeds, it will be an honor to innovate and improve the office’s accessibility, affordability, and efficiency for every taxpayer. At the same time, it will be an honor to implement stronger protections for our most vulnerable seniors from theft and fraud and improve our Veteran’s ID discount program.

Sadly, it seems that Mr. Loughery doesn’t think getting paid a full time; taxpayer-based salary deserves his full attention. In fact, his entry and exit logs into the Recorder of Deeds office, produced by his employee badge swipes, seem to indicate that he has been absent approximately 287 days since June 2018 (The Chester County Solicitor’s Office states that records do not exist before June 2018).

That’s an astounding 37 days of work out of 324 calendar workdays. Even worse, according to Right to Know documents, he has no record of entry and exits from the Recorder of Deeds office from June 12, 2019 to September 16, 2019.  This is inexcusable and you deserve better leadership.

Where has he been during these absences? Ask him, if you can find him. You as a taxpayer shouldn’t have to track down your elected officials to see if they are showing up to work while collecting a County salary on your dime. Honestly, who is serving whom here? This isn’t a Republican issue or a Democratic issue. This is a common sense issue of fairness and decency … and doing good deeds. You deserve someone who works to earn the title “Honorable”. That is why I am asking for your vote on November 5 as Recorder of Deeds.

Chris Pielli is a Chester County attorney, member of the West Goshen Board of Supervisors and the Democratic candidate for Recorder of Deeds.

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