Politics
1:42 pm
Tue July 10, 2012

Douglas County voters to decide on consolidation of two offices

Douglas County voters will decide in November whether the Assessor and Register of Deeds offices should be consolidated.

County Commissioners voted 5-2 Tuesday in favor of a proposal to merge those offices. It’ll go on the November ballot for voters to decide.

Commissioner Pam Tusa introduced the plan and says it’s necessary given the current economic conditions. "I believe a lot of people feel that this would be the right thing to do. People, our constituents are hurting, the economy is hurting, the governments are hurting, we’re trying to make cutbacks, we’re trying to do budget cuts, and all we’re doing is affecting services with everybody."

Tusa estimates Douglas County could save $180,000 by consolidating the two offices. But Register of Deeds Diane Battiato says 17 of Nebraska's 93 counties have separate Register of Deeds and Assessors offices, and Douglas County should continue to. 

Douglas County Assessor Roger Morrissey says his office has a neutral position on the merger. Commissioners Mike Boyle and Chris Rodgers voted against it.