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Register of Deeds candidates make their case

The Jamaica Plain News lets challenger Katie Forde and incumbent Steve Murphy explain why voters should choose them for the job in this Tuesday's Democratic primary.

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I want an easy well paying job.
Thank you and give me your vote.

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Go katie!!!!

Not that cutie pie Stevie isn't completely capable of driving a car for someone, or talking about PILOT's but not airplanes, or collecting a paycheck and not doing anything, but it's about time women get those jobs too.

#metoo
#voteforgirlsnomattawhat

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It's wild that we expect voters to make an informed decision about who should be Register of Deeds.

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And it'd be just as wild to expect an informed decision about who would be appointed Register of Deeds. It'd just be a pay to play appointment - "Thanks for funding my campaign! Here's an easy job that pays well!"

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If a governor, mayor, whoever, appoints a crony and they suck at the job, then the elected official is responsible. Much more realistic democratic accountability than thinking voters are going to learn about every candidate in a dozen different races.

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So you want to remove the direct accountability of a vote and instead expect the general electorate to research the appointments and performance of those appointments from every incumbent or previously incumbent candidate before voting on the candidate's actual platform? And you think that is LESS research for the voting public?

We can't even hold politicians responsible for the bad policies they directly make, it's very cute that you think a politician would in any way be held responsible for the bad policies of an appointed crony.

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Elected offices should be for positions that make policy decisions. There are no policy decisions to be made by somebody in charge of deeds, or, for that matter, for the clerks of our various courts.

I mean, it sucks Steve Murphy broke his campaign promise from two years ago to update the Registry of Deeds Web site (in two years, all he's managed to do is get his photo slapped on it), and I suppose that's a "policy decision" worth voting him out over, at least in the context of what passes for issues in the race, but really, it's a purely administrative job and I'd rather hold the governor or whoever accountable.

But since you're obviously well versed in elections, please tell me who I should vote for for clerk of Suffolk County Superior Court - Civil division - and why.

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What promise did Murphy make? The deeds search on MASSLANDRECORDS.COM is provided by the state to all the counties. Suffolk has no say in the matter, unless it wants to spend millions to buy and support its own deed management platform. This should be a topic in the Galvin/Connolly contest.

I've never been a fan of Murphy, but his candidate statement (listing out specific accomplishments and goals, no matter how minor) strikes me as far more direct and better written than Forde's (an odd narrative with tenuous references to Obama and Trump) and makes me inclined to support him.

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I certainly find the Registry website quite helpful - lots of good info on there - and, Steve and his team were just here at the Roslindale Library last week. He seems to be running a pretty good shop from my perspective.

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Yes, two years ago, Murphy said he'd make the Registry Web site better (so did most of the other people running against him). It's the same exact Web site it was when Mickey Roache was register, except now it has Murphy's picture on it. True, it's a better picture of him than the fuzzy one of Roache it used to sport, but other than that, he did absolutely nothing to make it "better" - it works exactly the same as it did two years ago.

Is this a stupid issue? Possibly, but we don't have all that much to go on in this race.

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Sorry Adam- you got it wrong again! Murphy DID improve the Suffolk Registry of Deeds website, even his opponent Katie Forde said it was the best Registry website in the state on NNN with Chris Lovett. Try not to let you bias shine through! If you read Murphy’s article all the way to the end, you will see he is working with the Secretary of State to further improve Mass. Land Records website. As a title examiner I have first hand experience and don’t appreciate your shoddy reporting.

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And my apologies to Mr. Murphy.

Only she didn't say Murphy made it the best Web site in the state; she said "I think Suffolk has one of the better Web sites" - which is not exactly the same as a ringing endorsement of Murphy's work, especially because she was talking about her ten years of working with property records (and then went on to say how she'd make it even better). The interview you refer to - skip to 6:10 for the Web stuff.

I'm hardly a power user of the site, but I have used it off and on over the years and honestly don't see any difference in how it works today vs. how it worked the day before Murphy became register, at least for looking up records on specific parcels (which is the only reason I use it). Since you seem to know, how is it actually more useful than it was two years ago?

And again, getting back to my original point, is this really the sort of thing we should be having an election over? Especially given how the Secretary of State actually is responsible for running much of the office (and we have a primary for that as well).

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Broke his promise? Really? Honest comments were asked of us,so I will do so...
Katie Forde stated in a televised interview with Chris Lovett that the Suffolk Register of Deeds has "one of the better websites". Steve Murphy explained in the JP Tribune article, posted on this website, how the suffolkdeeds.com website was improved and how he is working with other Registries and the state to improve masslandrecords.com. I personally found the updated website is so much easier to navigate.
I moved back to the Boston area 5 years ago and have been actively involved in local politics since then. What I know about Steve Murphy is he has followed through on all his campaign promises, which include hiring bilingual employees, instituting "Travelling Tuesdays" where he has travelled to every neighborhood in Suffolk county bringing the registry to the people and the improvements to the website mentioned prior.

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That may be the case for a much more visible position like the appointed head of the BPDA, but how often do you hear about the Register of Deeds outside of the election cycle? For such an invisible position, do you really see a watchful eye maintaining full accountability and transparency? And in a one party state, do you actually think there would be full accountability?

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I agree that the job isn't very visible or important, and that the only time anyone ever thinks about is when we're asked to decide who should do it for some reason.

Therefore, maybe it should just be appointed.

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The candidate statements are something we can go on for the election. Good work by the local press.

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I know that everyone was hoping I'd run again for Suffolk County Register of Deeds, this year, but it was not to be, so don't be holding off your vote until this November with expectations.

Instead, vote for Katie, who was the best Democratic candidate for this position, last time, and is this time, too! She has experience in legal matters, sincerely wants the job, and has the right politics, which isn't necessarily important for this position but if both candidates can do the job but only one is "on your side", why not pick her?

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if both candidates can do the job but only one is "on your side", why not pick her?

Using that logic, we should also try to hire employees with the same race, religion, gender, and sexual orientation as our own, because this race is basically about hiring an employee, and why not hire employees "on your side"?

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This is as apolitical a position as one can have an have to run in an election, so why is a candidate's views on something like marriage equality important at all? I just want someone who is going to make sure things run well in the office.

That said, if you are making an endorsement based on your work with the Registry on the customer side, it should be weighed.

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because we can't tell if he does a good job but the various local real estate people are willing to favor him with large yard signs.

Agree to disagree on that one.

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As I never tire of noting, I've been voting in elections where Murphy's name has appeared on the ballot since 1992, but he's never got my vote yet.

That said, if the idea is to make this primary (and I am talking on a macro level) a referendum on "progressive values", who knows if the streak will continue come next Tuesday.

Also, you do realize that I was responding to a local real estate person whose comment was an endorsement of Forde, right?

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Remember when you said this last week?

"If he's not screwing up the Registry of Deeds, he should stay in the job. His views on busing has nothing to do with that. If the Registry is in bad shape (kind of like another Suffolk registry was) he should go. But I've heard no tales of Murphy doing a bad job there. It's as simple as that."

Local political coverage isn't 'that' thin around here but you'd have to fcuk up running the Deeds office to get in the papers. Absence of bad news doesn't mean he's actually doing a good job and there's 0.0% in his long record as a public politician to indicate he cares about the Deeds office. Forde has explained why she wants to the job for reasons beyond "I want to pad my pension"

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Is basically what I said this week. If he’s doing a good job, why change? If not, he should go. If Forde wants to make this about Trump, she lost me, to the extent that I might move from not casting on the office to voting from Murphy.

And should I remind you about what’s been going on in the same building at the Probate Office. Yes, it is possible to do a bad job in an office like this.

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Obviously with your hate, you didn't read either article. Forde looks like she is running for Housing clerk not Register of Deeds. As opposed to what you said, Murphy's article clearly states what he has done as Register and what his plans are moving forward. He also points to what the job of Register is- not what Forde says it is. Forde doesn't get into details and in my opinion tries to distort what the office does. Forde wants the job because she wants the pension. Stop spreading misinformation- it doesn't help you, those of us who read this, for your candidate either!

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Sorry John but all that Katie Forde has shown is her ability to campaign. She has no experience with the Registry of Deeds but tries to claim she does by trying to tie her work as a paralegal to the position she is campaigning for again. I saw her recently and I was not impressed at all. I tried to give her a chance but I don't like her negative tone and after she left our ward committee, many of us thought she was little nasty (and not in the good way). She is ALL about the salary which says to me that is why she is running- she mentions it everywhere. And not for nothing, I was the Registry's program in Roxbury last week and was able to get info on and file a homestead for my home. I met and spoke with Murphy and he seemed like a nice guy trying to help everyone who came. As much as we need women in office, we don't need to lose the nice guys who do the job everyday well! Katie is all about her ego, the salary, and she lost my vote.

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Let's all agree that it's a bizarre elected position. Here's what I find interesting...

Jeff Sanchez for better or worse is a local politician who has a good deal of power in his position as Ways and Means chair.

Steve Murphy is a local position who doesn't have nearly the same level of power.

When I drive around WR and Roslindale, I see a ton of Steve Murphy signs and only a sprinkling of Sanchez signs. My take away is that this is a reflection of the difference between a life long city politician like Murphy and the career of Sanchez who didn't come up the same way. Murphy appears to be more tied to the local politics 'machine'. It also appears (anecdata alert) that Murphy has a lot of signs on rental properties and apartment buildings, not personal residences. He appears to be supported by various local real estate interests, not local active political individuals.

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Sanchez doesn't represent West Roxbury and only part of Roslindale, and the bulk of the Sanchez campaign seems to be focused on JP.

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So many Murphy signs on Belgrade - that isn't part of Sanchez' district?

I'm mostly just puzzled because outside of patronage and ward people, who cares enough about Deeds to put up a Murphy sign? I'd assume almost no-one.

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Name another Register of Deeds that shows up at the library to record homestead declarations for my neighbors. Anyone that makes registry services easier has my vote.

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I mean, maybe you're not the same guy who contributes to Rep Mike Moran but he is perhaps the best example of how many people we elect here actually serve corporate and insider interests rather than the people they are supposed to represent.

Thanks for doing your part to keep liquor licenses in Boston under state control pal.

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