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 Both want to get more of the county's historical documents accessible online -- a laudable goal, but one which requires time and money.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 Wednesday, April 23, the 113th day of 2014. There are 252 days left in the year.
1864 — 150 years ago: Some persons are negotiating for 80 feet of ground on Illinois Street with a view of erecting four stores thereon. It would serve a better purpose if the money was invested in neat tenement houses. 1889 — 125 years ago: The Central station, car house and stables of the Moline-Rock Island Horse Railway line of the Holmes syndicate, together with 15 cars and 42 head of horses, were destroyed by fire. The loss was at $15,000. 1914 — 100 years ago: Vera Cruz, Mexico, after a day and night of resistance to American forces, gradually ceased opposition. The American forces took complete control of the city. 1939 — 75 years ago: Dr. R. Bruce Collins was reelected for a second term as president of the Lower Rock Island County Tuberculosis Association. 1964 — 50 years ago: Work is scheduled to begin this summer on construction of a new men's residence complex and an addition to the dining facilities at Westerlin Hall at Augustana College. 1989 — 25 years ago: Special Olympics competitors were triple winners at Rock Island High School Saturday. The participants vanquished the rain that fell during the competition, and some won their events; but most important, they triumphed over their own disabilities.