It has been 20 years since voters in Rock Island County have not found an incumbent on the ballot for recorder of deeds. That is how long Democrat Pat Veronda served in the elected position before announcing her retirement last year. On Nov. 6 voters will choose between Republican Tony Holland, of Silvis, and Democrat Kelly Fisher, of Rock Island. Mr. Holland is chief legislative aide for state Rep. Rich Morthland. Ms. Fisher has served 20 years in the recorder's office -- the last 18 as chief deputy. The main focus of the office is providing information on the history of property in the county. We could debate why the recorder needs to be elected, but we save that for another time. Property owners, banks and Realtors expect quick and accurate service when they deal with the office, and, for the most part, we believe they have received that. Both candidates come from service-oriented backgrounds and say they will continue that commitment in the recorder's office. Both want to get more of the county's historical documents accessible online -- a laudable goal, but one which requires time and money. If voters are happy with how the office has been run and want to continue with a veteran hand on the tiller, electing Ms. Fisher should provide a smooth transition. But if they see this as a once-in-two-decades opportunity to bring in someone with a new perspective who might see new ways to enhance service, Mr. Holland offers that option. Both have earned our support and should be commended for running professional, issue-oriented campaigns.
Today is Sunday, Dec. 8, the 342nd day of 2013. There are 23 days left in the year. 1863 -- 150 years ago: For the whole of last week we have been favored with the most delightful Indian summer weather, and mercury ranging from 40 to 65 above zero. The river is entirely clear of ice and looks as mild and soft as summer. 1888 -- 125 years ago: Albert Johnson was appointed a deputy in the circuit clerk's office. 1913 -- 100 years ago: 800 or more tons of earth in six landslides covered 38th Street for a distance of 200 feet near 7th Avenue and destroyed much property. 1938 -- 75 years ago: One of the 350-foot towers, which with a new transmitter will increase the power of WHBF to 1,000 watts day and night, has been completed on a 20-acre tract at 23rd Avenue and 51st Street, Moline. 1963 -- 50 years ago: In cooperation with The Associated Press, The Argus presents to its readers a complete, beginning-to-end account of one of the most tragic and dreadful chapters in American history, the assassination of President Kennedy, available in book form, and now in preparation. The book is entitled "The Torch is Passed." 1988 -- 25 years ago: Deere & Co. stockholders received good news of a boost in their quarterly dividends from 20 to 30 cents per share of common stock. The dividend, made to stockholders of record on Dec. 30, will be payable on Feb. 1, 1989.