There has been a lot of talk about experience in the race for Middle Berkshire Register of Deeds. It seems that Ms. Harris's platform is that she will bring her experience to the position.
Because I worked in that office and experienced firsthand the dynamics of it, I know that there are currently three assistant registers at the Middle Registry; a first assistant and two second assistants, with Ms. Harris being the last of the second assistants appointed. These assistants, along with the rest of the staff, have enough institutional memory to make sure that all documents are recorded properly and the day- to- day operations of the office will continue to run smoothly as it has for many years in the past.
I think the next register should have experience and qualifications that will be needed and are not redundant. A register does not have to have experience in the daily operations because that is what the experienced staff does. A register should have experience in managing staff and working with people, and in addition that person should have experience in how government works and in the politics of government.
The new register should be a person who can manage the office and look out for the people that it serves. There have been many discussions by politicians in Boston about combining the three registry offices in Berkshire County into one. It would not take too much of an imagination to think that they would attempt to reduce the Berkshire offices and take what money that might be saved and divert it to other state functions outside Berkshire County.
This would leave Berkshire residents with less service, much the same as the consolidation of Registry of Motor Vehicles Offices several years ago. An experienced administrator could work with the commonwealth to prevent this. Let's elect as the next register someone who would bring to the office experience that would otherwise be lacking and needed for its efficient operation and help to protect the services that are currently provided to the constituents of the communities that this office serves.
Jody Phillips has such experience. From the knowledge of government she earned while working in the mayor's office to her 10 years as Pittsfield's city clerk serving her constituents, she is truly what the Registry of Deeds will need in the future. Vote for her on Sept. 6.