Jeff L. Thigpen Register of Deeds

Sunday, January 30, 2005

My first "Bid Opening" as Register of Deeds!

The Register of Deeds office reached an important point in the Request for Proposals for our Imaged Indexing project. The deadline for bids to be submitted was this past Friday at 3 pm. We walked over from the Deeds office and sat down at a table and opened the proposals, prices were announced, and we are now in the process of deliberation.

Our procedures for selection encourage us to select the "lowest responsible bidder". (Included in the photo were me, David Smith-Chief Assistant ROD; Debbie Johnson-Assitant ROD; Craig Sanders- Logan Systems; Jerry Woodard- Business Information Systems; Bonnie Stellforx and Chris Neese-Guilford County Purchasing Dept.)

We will announce a selection in the next week.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Why I believe we all need to talk about "values".....

Are Bert and Ernie next? Will it be Elmo? Some other unsuspecting puppet or cartoon icon?

I'm Christian, heterosexual, and I watch cartoons with my daughter! The public debate about "values" reached another low this week. A society in need of courage and leadership to talk about educational decline, christian and moral responsibility, and this is what we get.... an all out assault on a sponge and a rabbit.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Miracle or dark humor of the Register of Deeds office? You decide...

One way to revoke a death certificate in Louisburg, NC!

Tuesday, January 25, 2005


NEWS AND RECORD EDITORIAL- Saturday, January 22, 2005

Tom Phillips, Jeff Thigpen and Yvonne Johnson are local elected officials who connect with the public via Web logs. What are others waiting for?

Tom Phillips gives his views about fee hikes for the SCAT van service.

Jeff Thigpen provides a detailed list of "current and completed projects and updates in the Deeds office.

Yvonne Johnson previews a City Council meeting.

They're blogging, baby.

City Council members Phillips and Johnson and Register of Deeds Thigpen have jumped to the head of the class among local elected officials by using Web logs, or blogs, to communicate with the public. Their efforts are good for themselves and their constituents.

"I am starting this blog because the blogaholics tell me this is the wave of the future and I tend to agree with them," Phillips wrote in a post dated Jan. 7. "I'm very apprehensive though, because I know I'm going to get myself in trouble unless I use a lot of restraint. My focus will be primarily on local politics but I will be glad to discuss just about anything."Phillips' comments about SCAT fares drew questions from readers, allowing the councilman to respond. Blogs are interactive,encouraging debates and discussions - a perfect tool for elected representatives.

Thigpen began his blog during his campaign last year uses it now for personal, professional and political purposes. The latest posts ninclude photographs and commentary about a holiday trip to New York, his report non initiatives in his office and his endorsement of Ed Turlington for chairman nof the North Carolina Democratic Party. "It gives the public a chance to engage me," says Thigpen, a former county commissioner who notes it's challenging for elected officials to find productive avenues of communication with constituents. He adds, however, that blogs remain a mystery to many people: "There are some people who want to be interactive with it andothers who think it's first cousin to a frog."

But the circle of bloggers is rapidly widening, and more and more politicians will find that blogs provide a valuable means of connecting with the people who put them in office. But the circle of bloggers is rapidly widening, and more and more politicians will find that blogs provide a valuable means of connecting with the people who put them in office.

Tom Phillips:
Yvonne Johnson:
Jeff Thigpen:

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Current and completed projects and updates in the Deeds office...


1) Today we released an important RFP for imaging index books back to 1771. (An important service for our users and important part of implementing a new computer system). The process has included several meetings with Guiford County Information Services, Purchasing, and consultation with our County Attorney.

2) Met with Guilford County Budget office. We are working on a spreadsheet to do long term planning on our budget and automated enhancement fund revenues. (New project for Register of Deeds office).

3) Moved data storage from Snap Servers to the Guilford County SAN (Storage Area Network).
As a result, we have eliminated the problems from the Snaps and have quicker, easier back up of information. The SAN has a high speed back up solution. Many thanks to Bridget Lindsey and crew from IS who devoted several weekends to get the job done! (THIS WAS A CAMPAIGN ISSUE!)

4) Attorney's no longer have to pay postage fees initiated under the former Register of Deeds.

5) Working with GIS (Geographic Information Services) on a Plat Enhancement project to be implemented in the next few weeks.

6) Changed merit based increase procedure for staff (so they are given their raises the month after their evaluations are completed).

7) Hired a part time staff member to help in scanning old books and doing "temp to perm" index checking.

8) Starting an E-Newsletter for the public and users. First Edition should go out at end of January. Already have 100 users signed up!

9) Working on changes to our website (ie., home page, phone #'s for specific areas in our office, etc.)

10) We are changing our automated phone system in the office.

11) We'll be purchasing dividers for our indexing staff so they can have less distortion and ability to focus on their important tasks.

12) Our employees selected the colors for new carpet for our office. It will be several months before we actually get the carpet, but it was a fun process!

13) I've had individual meetings with supervisors in every area of the Register of Deeds office.

14) Attended the General Statutes Committee meeting in Raleigh on Friday, January 7th. The meeting had to do with a bill re: Electronic Recording and a E-Recording council to have some kind of relationship to the Secretary of State's office. No big decisions were made. (I learned about the relationship between rules, standards, and procedures....whatever.

15) Working on changes to the employee vacation policy and creating an overall personal policy handbook instead of a book of memos related to policies.

Whew, man, I actually have to work for a living.... haha

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Ed Turlington is best choice for NC Democratic Party Chairman!

I'm endorsing Ed Turlington to become NC Democratic Party Chairman. Here's why...

1) He's progressive! (Former Special Assistant/Counsel to US Sen. Terry Sanford; National Deputy Campaign Mgr., Bill Bradley for President; Chief of Staff to former Lt. Gov. Bob Jordan; NC Co-Chair of Kerry-Edwards Campaign)

2) He can deliver on his message on focus areas: organization; winning elections; message and finance. Ed is endorsed by former Gov. Jim Hunt and Gov. Mike Easley. He's a close friend and ally to Sen. John Edwards. Let's face it, he's connected--in a good way.

3) I like Ed! I've watched him from afar and like his style. I first met him at a UNC basketball game (good start). He's a young, fresh voice and has good energy. I believe he has a good grasp of the issues and he doesn't just speak to Democrats. He has a plain-speaking manner that connects with real people.

Guilford County Democratic Party Executive Committee Members should support ED TURLINGTON at the Party Convention in Raleigh later this month!

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Happy New Year! (Pix too!)

(First Picture-Ground Zero)

PHOTOS COURTESY OF JEFF VALENT (far right! in above pic and inside joke!) . (check out From left to right- Anita Valent, Jeff and Michelle, Dennis Coughlin, and Jeff V.

Just got back from a visit to NY this past week. Here are some things I learned:

1) The universal choking sign "signage" (body with hands crossing throat) is in every resturant in NY. I first noticed it in NYC a couple of days after Christmas. Good health idea, or bad food? You decide..

2) Starbuck's Coffee has colonized NYC. Every corner there's a Starbucks. Ground Zero-Starbucks; Statute of Liberty- Starbucks; Chinatown-Starbucks.

3) McSorley's Irish Pub- A must visit. It's the oldest Irish Pub in NYC. Lots of history and presence in the place. "Whitey" is the guy who GETS YOU a seat. You don't just go in and sit at a table. And they only serve two kinds of beer- the dark kind and the lighter colored kind. Both are most excellent!

4) The Toys R Us at Times Square has a Ferris Wheel inside of the store.

5) A New York hot dog is REALLY good. It does not beat Paul's Place Hot Dogs in Rocky Point, NC, but NY hot dogs have gained my nod from now on....

6) For 16 month old children, you can mix appropriate levels of tylenol or motrin with Robitusson doses and Zythromax is a good antibiotic.

7) Never go to NYC when it is about 12 degrees outside, in tight spaces, and with someone has the common cold. The wind chill will put you in negative digits, the tight spaces will physically challenge you, and the common cold will win. Oh yeah, go back and read #6.

8) A little NY politics--in Broome County NY. The county executive (manager-Party unknown) was beaten in the general election by the Register of Deeds (Dem) who then fired the Purchasing Director (Rep) who will now probably be appointed Register of Deeds by Gov. Pataki.

9) Remote elecronic starters on Dodge vehicles are 'da bomb'. Just hit a button on your key chain and your car engine starts right up. Its like magic...but it could create challenges for the mob.

10) Your check in baggage should be 50 lbs max per bag. I came in at 73 lbs on the return trip. If you question your baggage weight, you should be at the airport at least on hour in advance to then make adjustments! 15 minutes just is not enough time.

Oh yeah, and Guilford Alumnus and former teammate Tony Womack is making $2 million this year as a Yankee. I would normally think that's alot of money, but parking is probably $80 a day in a parking garage. A cab is outrageous- like $4.50 to get in and $2.00 for every 1/5 mile or something. Tony should get more, I hope he has built-in incentives- he's getting robbed.