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 Both want to get more of the county's historical documents accessible online -- a laudable goal, but one which requires time and money.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 Tuesday, July 29, the 210th day of 2014. There are 155 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: Col. H.F. Sickless informs us that there will be new organization of troops in this state under the call for more men. 1889 -- 125 years ago: James Normoyle arrived home after graduating from West Point with honors in the class of 1889. He was to report to Fort Brady, Mich., as second lieutenant in the 23rd Infantry. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Austria Hungary declared war on Serbia. Germany and Austria refused an invitation of Sir Edward Grey to join Great Britain at a mediation conference. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Dr. William Mayo, the last of the three famous Mayo brother surgeons, died at the age of 78. 1964 -- 50 years ago: One of the biggest horse shows of the season was held yesterday at Hillandale Arena on Knoxville Road under the sponsorship of the Illowa Horsemen's Club. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Davenport is like a gigantic carnival this weekend with the Bix Arts Fest taking over 12 square blocks of the downtown area. A festive atmosphere prevailed Friday as thousands of people turned out to sample what the Arts Fest has to offer.