Jeff L. Thigpen Register of Deeds

Thursday, March 31, 2005

What do Department Directors, Auto Mechanics, Grandmothers, and Lemonade have in common?

As a Department Director I have the responsibility of submitting my budget request to the County Budget office today. We put the finishing touches on it this morning. To be a good commissioner, you need to find the right questions to ask in this's pretty Socratic. As a Department director, you need to make inquiries like an auto mechanic. Does anything appear missing from the budget or car? Well, bolts, clamps, brackets or cables? Do the tires have enough tread? Any fluid leaks...etc... or will be have enough gas to get us to our destination? I'm I trying to drive a Jag, Honda, or I'm I dealing with a Lemon?

Department Directors, like auto mechanics, have to learn the language or their trade..... like in my case--line items, source codes, revenue and expenditure projections.....numbers like 0201 or 0301; or acronyms and phrases-- AMA; AMB; AMC; appropriating money; encumbering money; budget formulas; contracts; cuts, or decreases here or there; fixed increases in insurance or retirement based on formulas.

Like I said, auto mechanics have their own language too- PCV values; Valve Cover gaskets; CV boot joints; Caliper; Rotors; Serp Fan belts; how they impact the performance of the car, etc. While I'm drawing these comparisons, you need to realize I know nothing about cars....which shouldn't make you feel better that I'm a Department Director.

But at the end of the day, like Albert Einsten said, "You can't truly understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother!" And as a Department director, I've probably felt more like the grandmother than the auto mechanic over the past several weeks....haha. But things are getting better and grandmothers make great brownies and I believe we're making lemonade in the Deed's office. (If you don't get the lemonade reference, please refer to paragraph 1)

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Roy, "I got your back!" Go Heels!

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I told someone the other day I went to a Final Four once. I watched a guy play in it that grew up about 10 miles from my home. I bagged his grandfather's groceries when I worked at Wilson's store in Burgaw, NC. Yep, that guy was Michael Jordan. The Final Four was in New Orleans and I saw the shot in 1982.

I'm not gettin' all Dionne Warrwick....but I'm feelin' the Heels this year. Check it out---A coach whose overdue for a championship (like Dean Smith in '82); In a Final Four with Louisville again (like '82); and UNC's playing the second game of the semi-finals like '82. And oh yeah, its 23 years later. Like I said "I'm feeling it..."

Ok, I may be reaching, but I got your back Roy!

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Terry Schiavo..............

Terry Schiavo's situation is following me everywhere this week. My cashier at Target; family; friends; etc; from Greensboro to New York. It has provoked much dialogue. Here's an article in Sojourner's magazine. Living wills; culture of life; law and politics; faith and religion. My family had to make this kind of decision after my father had a massive stroke in 1998. While God alone is the measure the rightness in our decisions, our family prayed and did what we felt led to do (following my fathers living wishes) by taking him off of life support after consulting with the medical staff at Pender Memorial Hospital. Dealing with this kind of tragedy and making informed and faithful decisions about death is truly difficult. And once again it shows we can't run from the reality that death is part of the culture of life.

On the politics, NPR commentator Daniel Schorr made this statement: "The case is full of great ironies. A large part of Terri's hospice costs are paid by Medicaid, a program that the administration and conservatives in Congress would sharply reduce. Some of her other expenses have been covered by the million-dollar proceeds of a malpractice suit - the kind of suit that President Bush has fought to scale back."

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Check out State Government Radio!

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State Government Radio is a news service that keeps the public updates on state government and regional issues in NC. I'm impressed with their website and efforts to inform the public about news events. Good Luck to Seth Effron, Executive Director. I briefly met Seth while I was a participant with the NC Institute of Political Leadership. NC IOPL is a great opportunity for young political leaders across party lines to learn the political process and get to know each other!

Met with Sen. Phil Berger last week re: E-Recording legislation

I had a good meeting with Sen. Phil Berger, Senate Minority Leader last week. Ann Shaw, ROD in Randolph County; Judy Gibson- ROD Mecklenberg County; and Rebecca Cipriani- ROD Rockingham County were all present. The meeting was just touching base and giving updated information on NC ROD efforts at e-recording/e-notary legislation. On a personal note, I played baseball in college with Phil's son, Phil Jr. at Guilford College! Again, I like the bi-partisan nature of the NC Register of Deeds Association. Shaw and Gibson- Republican; Thigpen and Cipriani- Democrat. One voice...

Sunday, March 20, 2005

North Carolina Association of Register of Deeds (NCARD) Conference...

I spent this past Monday and Tuesday at the NCARD Conference in Raleigh. Several observations. First, NCARD is an organization that has REAL bi-partisan unity. Many of the issues addressed like e-recording, etc. cut across party lines. That is refreshing. Second, I am a true minority in the group (being a male). That's ok too. It was so obvious one speaker began his remarks by saying that he felt like a judge at Ms. Universe contest. The women all laughed and the males just looked at each other realizing the speaker had just won over 90% of the room. haha. Third, Guilford County Register of Deeds office has not been the leader of major metropolitan counties (which goes to Mecklenburg and Judy Gibson) in NC. We would be lucky to be in the Top 10. The conference served as an incentive and another wake-up call.

But fourth and most importantly, I am excited because this will all change in the next two years with several goals emphasizing the following: a) a thorough reorganization of internal operations and work flow; b) a firm technological foundation; c) employee and public involvement in the transition; d) and one of the best communications and public service strategies for a Deeds office in the country.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Been really BUSY! Blog will be updated!

Have several posts in the works! Sen. Phil Berger; NC Register of Deeds Confererence; Vendor Demonstrations in office; visits to other Register of Deeds offices and more!


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Thursday, March 10, 2005

OFFICIAL Announcement re: The Communications Strategy in the Register of Deeds office.


Monday, March 07, 2005

Why am I a Yankee Fan? Two words...

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Tony Womack