LISBON - Columbiana County Recorder Theresa Bosel is creating a chief deputy position as part of a plan to restructure operations, thereby reducing the amount of time it takes to record oil and gas leases.
The first person chosen for the position, Brigette Grey, dates Bosel's stepson. She quit on Nov. 8 after four days on the job.
"She decided it just wasn't for her," Bosel said of Grey.
The chief deputy recorder would, among other things, perform most of the office's financial duties, including payroll, which had been the responsibility of employee Diane Reiter, who retired in August, Bosel said. Instead of filling Reiter's slot, she is creating the chief deputy position in its place, which will be outside the union.
Bosel said the other administrative duties to be performed by her chief deputy, along with other changes she plans to begin rolling out by the end of the year, are supposed to increase efficiency and speed up the recording process by eventually making all documents available online.
When Bosel took office in 2013, the backlog for recording leases dated back more than 10 months, but she corrected the problem after Cott Systems - the company that supplies the information management software program and support services for the office - offered to provide an employee and equipment to help them get caught up.
The backlog was eliminated but has returned, and the office is currently about three months behind. Bosel said being down one worker since August has contributed to the problem, but the other reason is the inefficient way the office operates.
She praised her staff, saying they are dedicated and work hard, but how they do their job needs restructured to improve efficiency. "If we're able to change the work place in this office and change how we do things, there's no reason why we should be behind," Bosel said.
She expects this problem to be addressed by hiring a chief deputy and making gradual changes in office operations. "I think there's a whole host of reasons why we're falling behind again, and that's unacceptable. And that's why I'm looking at restructuring" the office.
As for Grey, Bosel confirmed that she and her stepson are dating but that is not why she hired her. She said Grey's background is in office management, payroll, etc.
"Everything she did for the past four years is what I was looking for," Bosel said. "She was qualified and capable."
Bosel will resume the search for someone to fill the chief deputy position.
In related news, Bosel said she decided against using three computer monitors donated to her by the Lorain County recorder. She found them to be outdated and too large for the employee desks.
Instead, Bosel said she purchased two dual-screen monitors for less than $1,000 that will allow her staff to scan a document into the system and immediately return it to the person recording the document.