Carolyn M. Comer - Surry Co. Register of Deeds
Key Accomplishments... (Partial Listing)
- One of our state's first ... and presently one of only 35 Registers of Deeds serving in North Carolina to have been professionally certified as an "Advanced Register of Deeds".
- Possesses years of extensive training in both Land Records Administration and Records Management from the NC School of Government.
- Has operated her office on a budget (which she requested) which is lower today than was her budget the day she was first elected ... 8 years ago. (2004)
- The first Register of Deeds in North Carolina to undertake and complete a full manual document search of literally hundreds of thousands of pages of recorded documents ... in search of sensitive personal information (such as citizen's social security and bank account numbers) and then redacting or blacking out that info from thousands of pages of online images in order to protect the county's citizens from identity theft.
- Pioneered an in-house managed program of online access to Real Estate document images (used primarily by those in the land conveyance business) without adding any increased office expenses to be covered by the overwhelming majority of Surry County taxpayers without need for such access ... a program and approach repeatedly endorsed unanimously by the Surry County Board of Commissioners.
- Made available to the general public ... free online access to the index of all Surry County Real Estate records dating back to the 1700's.
- Adopted a birth records program which allows Surry County residents to obtain regular or certified copies of their birth certificates (regardless of where in the state they were born) directly from the registry office in Dobson ... saving county citizens considerable time and money.
- Undertook and completed a massive 5 year restoration program (hailed by genealogists from across the state) of Surry County's oldest and most historically significant documents.
- Has aided numerous Surry County farmers through extensive research and documentation ... enabling them to receive proper recognition by the NC Dept. of Agriculture for those working farms identified as "Century Farms" ... an honor bestowed on those farms in the county held by the same farming families for 100 years or more.
- Compiled one of (if not the first) Slave Index in North Carolina's Register of Deeds offices ... an index that identifies and traces the lives of many of the slaves who lived and labored here in Surry County in the 1800's.
- Incorporated the E-Recording system of document cancellation into the Surry Register of Deeds office … allowing attorneys and lending institutions to save considerable time and money.
- 2010 recipient of the American Business Women Association's ... “Business Associate of the Year Award” for Surry County.
- As promised when first seeking office in 2004 ... has provided 8 years of quiet, competent, professional service ... without fanfare, drama or controversy.
- Past and current state committee chair in the North Carolina Register of Deeds Association where she has, and presently serves on multiple committees.
- Member of the National Association of County Recorders, Election Officials and Clerks.
- Member of the Property Records Industry Association.
- Supported by the NC Association of Realtors.
- Member of the Board of Visitors for Life Span of Surry County ... an organization dedicated to the positive transformation of the lives of both children and adults with developmental disabilities here in Surry County.
- Active volunteer (and an effective fundraiser) for Mountain Valley Hospice, Life Span of Surry County, and other local and community causes.
- Regularly volunteers her time to the Mt. Airy Museum of Regional History, Habitat for Humanity, and gives of her time in some of the county's local elementary schools and pre-school programs reading to young children.
- Has attended Salem Fork Christian Church the past 38 years ... serves the congregation as a Sunday School teacher ... has chaired several committees through the years ... and has served on the church's Official Board.
Carolyn M. Comer ... 56 year old lifelong NC resident ... married 38 years to Clark Comer ... mother of 2 sons - Josh and Jamey Comer, and 1 granddaughter - Kayli Comer.
Dear Surry County Voters,
As election time draws near, I want to go on record as endorsing Carolyn Comer for the office of Surry County Register of Deeds. Carolyn has worked effectively as Register off Deeds for the past 8 years, and prior to that, 28 years in the Deed’s office. As public officials, Registers are accountable to the people of North Carolina for executing their duties faithfully and honestly. Carolyn Comer exemplifies these qualities and understands the importance of good record keeping and dealing congenially with the public. I believe Carolyn is the person best qualified to be the Surry County Register of Deeds!
Karen Hobson Wagoner,
Yadkin County Register of Deeds
(Printed in the “Mount Airy New” on 10/30/2012)
To the Editor,
I have followed with interest the campaign for Surry County Register of Deeds. It seems that the Republican candidate has no other reason to be running other than the fact that he is a Republican and feels he should be Register.
He has not been critical of the performance currently being provided by the register of deeds or of the services presently provided by the office. Neither does he speak of any change he would make. He just thinks it is time for a Republican to be Register.
On the other hand, Carolyn Comer, the current register has eight years experience as Register of Deeds and many more years experience in the office. Carolyn is recognized for doing an outstanding job as Register of Deeds. The office, one of the finest in the state, is rendering quality service to the citizens of Surry County. Not only is Carolyn experienced and has proven herself as Register, Carolyn is a fiscal conservative and a person of outstanding character.
Having served as the former Register of Deeds for twenty-eight years, I know the importance of the office of Register of Deeds to the people of Surry County and to the county itself. The records maintained by the office are the most important records of the people, the land they own, and the financial records of their land. The records are all important legal records and must be maintained and accessible, in accordance to the complex laws affecting the office.
Carolyn Comer, whom I know very well, is extremely qualified and knowledgeable. She is doing an outstanding job in serving the people of Surry County and should be re-elected to continue to do so.
The only thing the Republican candidate objects to is that Carolyn is not a Republican. Of all elected offices, the office of Register of Deeds is the one where political partisanship is the least important consideration, as it makes no laws and establishes no policy. It is an administrative office that should provide quality service. It is an elective office simply because from 1868 on, the Constitution and laws of the state have made it so. The importance of the records to the people of the county require the people to have a say in who the Register is.
I highly endorse and recommend Carolyn Comer for the office of Register of Deeds and urge all citizens, Democrats and Republicans, to re-elect this Register who has and will continue to serve us so well.
Dennis W. “Bud” Cameron
(Printed in the Mount Airy News on 10/27/2012)
To the Editor,
The author of “Dirty Politics Comes to Surry,” featured in the Friday October 12, 2012 edition of the Mount Airy News, clearly needs to reacquaint himself (or herself) with the duties of the Surry County Register of Deeds.
For those who are unfamiliar with the Register of Deeds office in Surry County, make yourself familiar. The Register of Deeds holds a vital role in our community. Among other tasks, this elected office is charged with the duty of maintaining all related land records, including the filing of deeds, deeds of trust, plats and subdivision plans. The Register of Deeds catalogs collateral/fixture filings as well as durable power of attorneys. What office maintains all marriage, death and birth related records in Surry County – the Register of Deeds. Where would you go to research the boundary descriptions of your property, to see if the deed of trust against your home had been paid off or satisfied, or get a copy of your marriage certificate – the Register of Deeds. Suffice it to say, the Register of Deeds office impacts the lives of Surry County citizens directly.
Although the Register of Deeds is elected in a partisan election, it is by no means a partisan office. Attention to detail, prudence, and an unwavering commitment to policy and procedure are necessary traits for the role. These are not uniquely Democratic or uniquely Republican traits. These traits transcend party politics and require an introspective look into the qualities “within” a person. Bud Cameron (Surry County Register of Deeds from 1976 to 2004) exemplified the skill and precision desired from this elected position. Since 2004, Carolyn Comer has built upon Mr. Cameron’s legacy with a steadfast commitment to public service.
The Register of Deeds election is not about Democratic or Republican politics, it is about competency. Mrs. Comer has over 25 years of experience (formerly as an employee in the Register of Deeds office and later as an elected official). If you have never interacted with the Register of Deeds offices in neighboring counties, you are blissfully unaware how lucky we are, in Surry County, to have a Register’s office that is efficient, coordinated, and knowledgeable (especially in regard to our electronic records database). Mrs. Comer and her staff are second to none in the capabilities and support provided to the public.
There is a billboard in Mount Airy, on the intersection of West Pine Street and Renfro Street, across from Reeves Community Center, which reads in pertinent part “Democrats have Controlled the Surry County Register of Deeds Office for 36 Years…It’s Time We Make a Change. Vote Harris!” Aside from the inelegant partisan jousting contained in his message, Mr. Harris raises an interesting point – “It’s Time We Make a Change.” Before “we” make a change, it would be good of Mr. Harris to tell us exactly what needs changing. The exemplary service provided by Mrs. Comer? Her abundantly helpful support staff? The Register of Deeds office streamlined records system?
The overall aim of Mr. Harris’ political message is unsettling. It is divisive, and attempts to stir political wind around an office to which Democratic and Republican ideals have no appreciable impact. Mr. Harris’ message also insults the cumulative intellect of Surry County voters. It assumes that by virtue of our political affiliations we are unable to think beyond the confines of party lines. There is nothing subtle or tactful in this message; it is crafted with an intent to incite political rancor and divert voter awareness from key issues (ex: obvious inequality in experience).
The Register of Deeds serves all citizens of Surry County, Republicans and Democrats alike. Over the past 8 years, Mrs. Comer has executed the duties of her office with integrity and skill. Our Register of Deeds election is too important to be dragged into the backwash of Republican and Democratic opposition sweeping this country. We have a very good Register of Deeds. Let’s keep her.
J. Andrew Fulk, Esq.
(Printed in "The Pilot" on 10/23/2012)
The office of Register of Deeds is, and should be, totally non-political. Carolyn Comer, who has held this title for the past eight years, has never allowed politics to influence her actions. During her years in office she has carried out her duties faithfully and in a completely professional manner. Among her accomplishments and credits are the following:
One of only 35 Register of Deeds serving in North Carolina to be professionally certified as an “Advanced Register of Deeds”.
Has operated her office on a budget, which she requested, which is lower today than was her budget when she was first elected.
The first Register of Deeds in North Carolina to undertake and complete a full manual document search of literally millions of pages of recorded documents, taking care to black out any personal information in order to to protect the county’s citizens from identity theft.
Pioneered an in-house managed program of online access to Real Estate document images without adding any increased office expenses, a program repeatedly endorsed unanimously by the Surry County Board of Commissioners.
Made available to the general public free online access to the index of all Surry County residents to obtain regular or certified copies of their birth certificates, saving county citizens considerable time and money.
Undertook and completed a massive five-year restoration program of Surry County’s oldest and most historically significant documents.
Aided in the proper recognition by the North Carolina State Department of Agriculture those working farms identified as “Century Farms,” an honor bestowed on those working farms in the county held by the same farming families for 100 years or more.
Compiled one of North Carolina’s first Slave Indexes, an index that identifies and traces the lives of many of the slaves who lived and labored here in Surry County in the 1800s.
Member of the National Association of County Recorders, Election Officials and Clerks; member of the Property Records Industry Association, member of the Board of Visitors for Life Span of Surry County , an organization dedicated to the positive transformation of the lives of both children and adults with developmental disabilities here in Surry County.
In short, Carolyn has a proven track record as Register of deeds and is highly qualified to remain in the capacity. She deserves our support on Election Day.
Michaela G. Cox
(Printed in "Mount Airy News" on 10/20/2012)
To the Editor,
In the contest for Surry County Register of Deeds, I will be voting for Carolyn Comer. When I was County Manager, I worked with Carolyn every year as she prepared and managed the budget for her Office. She always developed a low-cost, bare-bones budget, while assuring that her Office would continue to run efficiently. Whenever she had an opportunity to cut costs, she did so. During the year, she would give the County Commissioners a monthly report on her Office’s revenues, compared to the previous year, so that they could keep track of the fees that largely support her Office. Carolyn runs an efficient, “no drama” Office, so I will be voting for a real Conservative and a great public servant — Carolyn Comer.
(Printed in "Mount Airy News" on 10/18/2012)
To the Editor,
The old adage “actions speak louder than words” is certainly applicable in the current race for Register of Deeds in Surry County. All of us have seen the campaign signs by Todd Harris stating that he is a “Republican” and a “conservative” as he attempts to unseat Carolyn Comer.
When Mr. Harris was a Mount Airy City Commissioner, he voted on multiple occasions to forcibly annex areas into the City limits. Thankfully (and rightfully), the Republican led legislature in Raleigh has now ended forced annexation in North Carolina. The rights of property owners as well as freedom from the heavy-hand of government are basic tenets of true Republicans.
I am a Republican and a conservative – but I am not a fool. Mr. Harris’s attempt to ride in on the hard work and coattails of true conservatives is merely opportunistic and self-serving. His desire to be in charge of the most important records in our county – including the records on our property for which he has shown such contempt, is unacceptable.
I, along with many other Republicans I know, will be casting my vote on November 6 for Carolyn Comer.
Monty K. Venable
(Printed in the Mount Airy News 10-9-12)
To the editor:
I believe the Register of Deeds office is the one public office where honesty and experience are far more important that political party. This office holds our most important documents, documents that each of us must have at some point in our life.
Surry county has, for eight years now, had someone in this office who was one of the first in North Carolina to be professionally certified as an "Advanced Register of Deeds".
Carolyn Comer and her wonderful staff have completed a massive restoration program of Surry counties' oldest and most historically significant documents. They have compiled a Slave index to help trace the lines of those who labored in Surry in the 1800s. With one of their new programs, it is now possible for any citizen of Surry to obtain a copy of their birth certificate at the Dobson office, now matter where in the state they were born, which can save a considerable amount of time and money.
This office has also gone through thousands of online documents removing information such as social security numbers to prevent identity theft. These are just a few of the many improvements made during her tenure.
Carolyn operates her office on a budget, which she requested, and which is lower now that when she took office in 2004.
That is an amazing fact for any government office. She is a life long resident of North Carolina and has lived in Surry county most of her life. She is married with two sons and a granddaugher and has been a member of Salem Fork Christian Church for 38 years.
While this is a time of great disappointment in government at the state and federal levels for many of us and I understand the need for change in many areas, I do hope the folks in Surry Co. will consider the friendly, competent, professional service, the fact that Mrs Comer continues to seek out training to make her office even better and the fact that the Surry county Register of Deeds office has been managed with honesty and integrity for the last 8 years, and re-elect Carolyn Comer.
In the last 30 years I have spent many hours in family research and cemtery documentation and restoration research in a great many Register of Deeds offices all over North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. Surry countys' is, and I hope will continue to be, simply the best.
Dorma Cook Hilliard
(Printed in "The Pilot" on 10/04/2012)
Carolyn M. Comer has been the Register of Deeds for Surry County for the past eight years. For over twelve years, I have worked with Carolyn and observed her efforts to improve the Register of Deeds Department. She has saved you tax dollars. Carolyn has worked with the Department for many years before she was elected as the Register of Deeds in 2004. When she was elected, she has made the following improvements and more.
• Installed the capability of sending and receiving emails
• Installed a voice mail system which replaced an antiquated phone system
• Developed one of the finest internet websites for Surry Citizens to access their records on-line while protecting the citizen from Identity theft
• Upgraded the recording system within the office to ensure citizens could easily access their records when they visited the Department
• Created an atmosphere of teamwork within the Register of Deeds staff members
• Worked on bringing her Department within Budget each fiscal year she has served
• Created an online Marriage Kiosk for ease of marriage applications
• One of just a few counties who offer a Vital Records Automated System to retrieve citizens birth records born in other counties since 1971.
• And the list goes on………WHY CHANGE? The people who work with Carolyn have come to know her as honest, hardworking and conscientious and always trying to go the extra mile. She has proven herself to be one of the finest Register of Deeds in NC, and I recommend her and ask the citizens of Surry County to re-elect her.
Darryl L. Chuman, CPCM
Principal - MSH Consultants, LLC
(Printed in "The Pilot" on 10/04/2012)
This letter is to express my support of Carolyn Comer for reelection to the office of Register of Deeds in Surry County, NC. Over the last several years I’ve gotten to know Carolyn Comer, not only as the Register of Deeds, but as a friend as well. Carolyn has assembled a Deputy Register of Deeds staff that exhibits a high level of knowledge, professional demeanor, and warm friendly nature that is often lacking in many governmental offices. On many occasions I’ve seen how the staff interacts with people from different socio-economic backgrounds, those whose native language is not English, and the elderly who may not understand the legal issues related to public documents. The skill sets of her staff to listen to people, then explain the legal statutes, and then provide the service tells me they are very skilled not only in the management of public records but in public relations as well. As an amateur genealogist I’ve had the occasion to visit many Register of Deeds offices around the state, and some in other states as well. Without a doubt, Carolyn’s office is the absolute “best” in the state of NC and serves as a fine example of effective and efficient management of public records. People across the state have nothing but high compliments on their experience when they visit Surry County with easy access to public records, use of computer technology, and reasonable costs. In this upcoming election in November, the citizens of Surry County would do well to remember how well this office has been run under the direction of Carolyn Comer. Now is not the time to elect an inexperienced person, and train them, to manage this vital office. I encourage all citizens of Surry County, whether Democrat, Republican, or Independent, to vote for the reelection of Carolyn Comer and allow her to build on her record of achievements.
Robert E. Carter
(Printed in “The Pilot” on 4-24-12)
The people of Surry County have a gem with Carolyn Comer as Register of Deeds. My husband and I looked for property in the surrounding five counties for the last two years before settling in Shoals last January. During that time, we spent hours looking at deeds and analyzing county real estate records. I was amazed at the online system that was available in Surry County, through the Register of Deeds office. The system in place is top -notch and far beyond what was available in adjacent counties. It made researching our potential purchase very easy and productive and I could do it at home, without traveling to a courthouse and visiting the dusty deed books. Carolyn Comer was right there to answer my questions and guide me along. My experience with Ms. Comer in Surry County was far superior to nearby counties when it came to researching properties and deed lines. I was surprised to learn this is an elected office because implementing and managing this online system is a highly skilled job. I urge Surry voters to support Carolyn Comer in the upcoming elections. She is personable, efficient and very competent. We are fortunate to have her as our Register of Deeds.