Opinion: Dan Jehl on John McGauley

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Allen County Recorder John McGauley-Goal driven and more

By Daniel Jehl

This man is interesting. At first sight, he was curious to this writer. His name is John McGauley, today a candidate for reelection as Allen County Recorder.

Perhaps, the curiosity emerged from generally knowing what mayors, judges, and local council people do and who they are, but not necessarily the County Recorder and who he is.

It was the Allen County Public Library where this writer encountered him. The event was a meeting on open government, convened by Fort Wayne City Council members Karen Goldner and Mitch Harper and Allen County Commissioner Bill Brown. The focus was open government ideas and suggestions for Fort Wayne and Allen County-area governments to help people better access their local governments day by day.

Attendees were people from all local levels of government- townships, cities and towns, county officials-plus citizens. The goal was to foster transparency and new paths for citizens to access local governmental information and services. There were two such meetings.

Curiosity on the mind: who is this man and what does he do?

At both open government meetings, he introduced himself as: “I’m John McGauley, the Allen County Recorder.” He did not elaborate. His actions spoke louder than words. He served a proactive role and volunteered to accept responsibility to follow up on many of the meeting’s ideas for Allen County. And he delivered.

He seemed a goal-driven, youthful, personable, thoughtful, helpful, knowledgeable, politically astute, deliver-the-promises person. This writer’s first impression has not changed.

McGauley is a Fort Wayne Snider and Ball State graduate. He worked in Muncie and Fort Wayne in print journalism, including The News-Sentinel, and communication positions in the public and private sectors.

Before his election in 2006 for a four-year term as Recorder, he served as Allen County’s Director of Public Information. On November 2 this year, McGauley will be reelected for his second term of office. He is running unopposed on the Republican ticket.

With or without an opponent, he deserves this. He has earned it.

JohnMcGauley.Com provides ample information about duties as Allen County Recorder, his achievements, and his ideas for the future. The site cites one of his priority goals is to deliver timely information to the public make public records more accessible to the public, and implement innovative methods to do so.

McGauley managed the first successful effort to broadcast Allen County meetings and informational programming on cable television, directed efforts to
implement Allen County Government’s first interactive Internet website, and shepherded other advances in delivering information and services to citizens.

In 2009, McGauley received the “County Achievement Award” from the Association of Indiana Counties. This recognition was for launching a Neighborhood Resource Center website which delivers hard-to-find information, including searchable access to neighborhood covenants to property owners.

And what does the Recorder’s office do? The JohnMcGauley.Com website states:

“The Allen County Recorder is responsible for numerous tasks that have a direct impact on the ability of employers and private citizens alike to conduct business and complete transactions.

The county recorder’s function is to record and maintain permanent public records involving a wide variety of instruments. These documents detail transactions involving real estate, mining, personal property, mortgages, liens, leases, subdivision plats, military discharges, personal bonds, etc.

Of particular interest is the fact that the recorder maintains and preserves all legal documents affecting title to real property. These records are the legal basis for determining ownership.”

Why is McGauley running for reelection? He told this writer these reasons:

“I decided to run for a second term as Recorder in large part because of what we’ve been able to accomplish already.  I think we’ve only scratched the surface in terms of promoting on-line accessibility and improving access to public records.

It’s easy to make individual changes, but our success will ultimately be measured in whether these changes become a permanent part of the way the Recorder’s office operates.”

This interesting man deserves voter support. With nearly four years of proving he delivers on goals, he has more to pursue. His opportunity to continue this public service mission for more than 300,000 residents of Allen County is Election Day on November 2.

On that day, it’s up to the voters to reelect John McGauley and other deserving candidates.

For information about voting locations and times and more, please contact the Allen County Election Board by phone at (260) 449-7329 or visit them on the world wide web.

More information about the Allen County Recorder’s Office is available by phone at (260)-449-7165 and recorder@allencounty.us or www.allencountyrecorder.us.

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