Walker PAC Welcomes Top Iowa GOP Officials On Their Leadership Board

More 2016 grumblings: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s PAC, Our American Revival, announced today that they nabbed two top GOP officials from Iowa, Chad Airhart and Jarret Heil, to serve on the leadership board.

Via their press release:

Dallas County Recorder Chad Airhart and Marshall County Treasurer Jarret Heil joined the Iowa leadership team of Our American Revival, an organization tasked with developing an issues platform based on Governor Scott Walker’s brand of big, bold reforms.Airhart, a Waukee Republican serving his second term, is the chairman of the Iowa Republican County Officials Association. Heil, a Marshalltown Republican elected to his second term last year, is IRCOA’s co-chairman. Past leaders of IRCOA, which represents approximately 550 officials statewide, include Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds and State Auditor Mary Mosiman.

“Chad Airhart and Jarret Heil are respected government officials and party activists who’ve accomplished so much on behalf of their local communities in such a short amount of time,” Walker said. “They’ve been elected to leadership positions by their peers because they’re committed to delivering efficient, effective services at the most local level of representative government.”

On Feb. 1, Heil, 34, also assumed responsibilities as Marshall County auditor and recorder after the board of supervisors appointed him to fill the positions on an acting basis. He is believed to be the first Iowa official to assume simultaneous responsibilities for all three positions.

Airhart, 37, serves one of the fastest-growing counties in the United States. During his first term, the Dallas County Recorder’s Office returned more than $1.15 million in the form of a surplus to the county general fund, alleviating the need for additional property tax dollars.

Airhart and Heil were both drawn to Our American Revival by Walker’s leadership as Wisconsin’s chief executive and his experience as a former Milwaukee County executive.

“I support Governor Walker and Our American Revival because he is a leader that has taken on serious challenges, and by applying common sense conservative principles, has moved his state in the right direction. Those same principles are the backbone of the Our American Revival mission,” Airhart said. “Being a former Wisconsin legislator, county executive, and now governor that has been elected three times in four years, he is arguably the most accomplished sitting governor in America and I am now proud to help him promote policies that restore power to the states and their people.”

Heil added, “When Governor Walker was a county official, he voluntarily returned part of his salary and has a record of results when it comes to balancing budgets, meeting service needs and coming up with innovative solutions to tackle the toughest problems. That’s putting your money where your mouth is and that’s real leadership. It’s also inspiring. We need to share that kind of leadership and vision across Iowa and across the country, and Our American Revival was formed to do just that. I’m very happy to be involved.”

Read Entire Story Here: http://townhall.com/tipsheet/mattvespa/2015/03/05/walker-pac-welcomes-top-iowa-gop-officials-on-their-leadership-board-n1966359

Chad Airhart 2015 Swearing In Ceremony


Recorder warns of potential deed scam

The Dallas County Recorder’s Office is asking residents to be cautious if they receive a piece of mail asking them if they want a copy of their deed and property assessment. Dallas County Recorder Chad Airhart said, “Recorder’s offices across Iowa have received phone calls from concerned citizens about letters they received saying there was ‘deed activity recorded in public record’ and they should obtain a ‘current property grant deed assessment’.”

Recently, a company called Record Transfer Services sent out letters to homeowners across the state with the above wording. Although the letter and form looks official, there is mention that it is a solicitation. The notice is designed to cause the homeowner to believe that there has been a recently recorded document, which is often not accurate. Anyone who receives a notice from companies offering deed and property assessment searches for their property should not be alarmed or think that it is necessary to respond to it. “Periodically there are companies that try to prey on people who know little about real estate or even less about their real estate documents or how they affect the title to their property” said Airhart.

Record Transfer Services charges $83 to obtain deeds and property assessments. Airhart said, “A copy of a deed can be obtained by searching the records at our office or by requesting a copy, which only costs 50 cents per page.”

Anyone having questions, or to obtain a copy of a deed, should call the Recorder’s office at 515-993-5804.

Dallas County Recorder Chad Airhart Reports Substantial First Term Surplus & Accomplishments

(Waukee, IA) – It’s rare in government that we hear about elected officials and politicians sticking to their budgets. Let alone being under budget, but that is exactly what Dallas County Recorder Chad Airhart has done every year of his first term in office.

Four years ago Airhart ran for Recorder and unseated a 22-year incumbent. He ran as a small government conservative with the cornerstone of his campaign being efficiencies. Regarding the financial state of the Recorder’s Office, Airhart said “It is easy for candidates for public office to talk about being fiscally conservative with taxpayer dollars, but it is often not as easy for them to follow through. I am proud of the way we have managed the funds entrusted to us for the services we provide.”

In FY 2014, the Dallas County Recorder’s Office returned $241,380, or just over 30% of the Recorder’s revenues, to the County General Fund. The Recorder does not take property tax dollars to function. Every office supply, technology, salary & benefit is paid for by fees received for services provided. In almost all instances, those fees are set by the Legislature in the Iowa Code. The surplus remaining at the end of the fiscal year is returned to the County General Fund and acts as a tax savings in the coming year as those surplus dollars lessen the amount needed to be collected from the property tax payers for the county to function.

To take a snap shot of Airhart’s first term as Recorder, his office returned $1,136,861 to the county general fund as surplus dollars, creating a substantial savings to the Dallas County taxpayer.

Airhart is 37 years old, and rather than focus on just one or two issues, he has focused on restructuring the entire office and streamlining government. Focusing on better processes and technology to record and return documents to the preparers in a more timely manner, on imaging historic records and providing services, forms and records online. With new processes and technologies, the office can more quickly process a record than it could just a few years ago. Recently the office imaged and indexed every record back to 1971 and imaged and indexed every military discharge record back to 1919. “Some might say it is management by statistics. The numbers don’t lie,” said Airhart. “It’s a tall order and tedious work, and we have seen record numbers of filings these past 4 years. The taxpayers and voters deserve to know the work being done on their behalf to make government work in a more efficient manner, and I proudly will talk about the accomplishments our staff in the Recorder’s Office has seen these past 4 years.”

Recently Airhart was awarded the Carl Ernst Scholarship & Award from the Property Records Industry Association for his work during his first term. He was the only government official given the award in the Country. Airhart is on the ballot this November and is running unopposed for a second term as Dallas County Recorder. For more information on the Chad Airhart, visit www.chadairhart.com.

Airhart receives PRIA Award – Two Ernst Scholarships Awarded Nationwide

The Property Records Industry Association (PRIA) has presented two Ernst Scholarships Awards for the 2014-15 membership year which begins on August 1, 2014. The Ernst Scholarship Award was established by Ernst Publishing Co., in conjunction with PRIA, in recognition of the late Carl Ernst for his contributions to PRIA and the extended property records industry.

This year marks the first time the awards have been bestowed.

Chad Airhart in the Waukee 4th of July Parade

The recipient of the government scholarship is Chad Airhart, recorder, Dallas Co., Iowa. In his first term as recorder, Airhart digitized and indexed all real estate records in the county back to 1971 and recently imaged and indexed all military discharge records.

During the first three budget years, the Dallas Co. recorder’s office returned $950,000 in surplus to the county’s general fund and is on track to add to that surplus for the current fiscal year.

Airhart has been recognized as one of Des Moines “Forty Under 40,” has served as president of the Waukee Leadership Institute and on the board of Waukee Area Chamber of Commerce. He was named Waukee Leadership Institute’s “2012 Alumnus of the Year” for outstanding community leadership.

The business scholarship recipient is Susan Stewart, Investors Title Insurance Co., Southeast Regional Office, in Columbia, S.C. Stewart is the past president of the Palmetto Land Title Association, served on the board of the Mortgage Bankers of Greater Columbia (MBGC), received the MBGC “Member of the Year Award” and was the “2004 Better Business Bureau Arbitrator of the Year.”

Appointed by the Governor to serve as a member of the Electronic Recording Committee, she has worked fervently to promote the electronic recording of documents.

The Scholarship Awards include a one year PRIA Membership for both a government and business candidates, along with conference registration and travel to one PRIA conference during the membership year. The awards are valued at $2,000 plus a complimentary membership in PRIA.

According to PRIA President David Ewan, “The late Carl Ernst was one of the original members of the Property Records Industry Joint Task Force, the predecessor to PRIA, and a tireless advocate for the development of both eRecording and standards for the property records industry. We could not be more pleased to partner with Ernst Publishing Co. in sponsoring this scholarship.”

The award criteria, established in 2013, require that eligible applicants have not previously been members of PRIA and have demonstrated exceptional accomplishments in their chosen fields, been active in their communities and proven service consistent with the mission and continued excellence of PRIA.

“I’m sure Carl would be pleased to see that PRIA continues to be the preeminent advocate for the collaboration of business and government throughout the public records industry,” states Gregory E. Teal, president & CEO of Ernst Publishing Co. “Increased membership and participation will only stand to further strengthen the association. We are proud to sponsor these scholarships. Congratulations to the recipients and, as Carl would say, ‘keep plugging.’ ”

This year’s recipients were selected from a pool of applicants by a committee consisting of the PRIA officers and a representative of Ernst Publishing Co. The two scholarships will be awarded annually assuming application submissions by qualified candidates.

About PRIA
The Property Records Industry Association (PRIA) develops and promotes national standards and best practices for the land records industry. PRIA is a coalition of government and business partners collaborating to formulate positions on issues of common interest. PRIA strives to identify areas of consensus within the industry, leading to recommendations for national standards pertaining to recordable documents. For more information on PRIA, visit www.pria.us.

See the PRIA release at http://www.amerisurv.com/content/view/12873/

Chad Airhart Organizes Republicans to Play the Iowa Reapers

Dallas County Recorder Chad Airhart has organized Dallas County Republican Officials to play the Iowa Reapers in a game of Beep Baseball. The amazing adaptive sport for the blind, which is played blindfolded, will put Iowa’s only Beep Baseball team, the Iowa Reapers agains Republican Dallas County elected officials. The National Beep Baseball Association was organized in 1976 for visually impaired adults to play baseball. The Iowa Reapers are the only organized team in Iowa.

This is a free event for all to spectate. Bring a lawn chair and something cold to drink and enjoy this adaptive version of America’s favorite past time. Those in attendance will witness the game of beep baseball and will certainly be delighted. They’ll witness blind athletes dive onto the ground to stop a beeping ball and run full speed toward the sound of a buzzing base to score a run. They’ll see desire, determination, teamwork and in many cases skilled performances of sightless players having fun in the midst of extreme competition. They will also see Dallas County elected republican officials blind folded playing against the Reapers.

To learn more about beep ball, please visit http://www.nbba.org/.

  • When: Sunday July 20th at 12:30 pm
  • Where: Waukee Football Fields (just west of stadium)
  • Cost: Free to attend, but there is an opportunity to give free will to support the Iowa Reapers

Republicans Playing:

  • Dallas County Recorder Chad Airhart
  • Dallas County Sheriff Chad Leonard
  • State Senator Charles Schneider
  • Urbandale Mayor Bob Andeweg
  • Waukee City Councilman Rick Peterson
  • Waukee City Councilman Brian Harrison
  • Clive City Councilman Mike McCoy
  • Clive City Councilman Eric Klein
  • Former Waukee City Councilman Isaiah McGee
  • Dallas County GOP Co-Chair Tyler DeHaan

Waukee 4th of July Parade Pics

Chad had the idea to take selfie pictures with friends along the parade route. Below is a collage of some of those selfies along with selfies of Chad with other elected officials and candidates and a collage of some non selfies…

Dallas County Recorder’s Office indexes and images veteran records electronically

The Dallas County Recorder’s Office recorded its first military separation record on January 2, 1919. During that period in the early 1900s Ruth Sumner was recorder. Today, Dallas County Recorder Chad Airhart has completed a project, indexing and imaging 95 years worth of recorded military separation records.

Since the first filing in 1919 nearly 14,000 Dallas County veterans recorded their separation papers. In the early 1900s, prior to the creation of the Department of Defense, each branch of the military issued its own separation papers that were handwritten and transcribed by the recorder. DD Form 214s were first issued to veterans upon separation in 1950.

Airhart stated, “The system that was in place in the recorder’s office when I took office in 2011 was a hand filing system. The records were kept in book, but the index of these records was an old rolodex card filing system. What this meant was that if a rolodex card was lost or misfiled, we may not be able to retrieve the record. From day one I felt our veterans deserved better than this.”

Records are now electronically indexed and imaged. These images can be called up electronically and printed by staff, saving time spent checking the rolodex, retrieving the record from the book and photocopying it to produce a certified copy. In the new electronic index the records were indexed from the actual image, ensuring that each and every record is accounted for in the electronic index, something that could not be assured under the old rolodex system.

Dallas County Veterans Director Ed Vos said, “This new computer system will be a great help to me, helping the veterans of Dallas County.”

These records contain information normally needed to verify military service for benefits, retirement, employment and membership in veterans’ organization. Information shown on these records include: date and place of entry in active duty, home address at time of entry, date and place of release from active duty, home address after separation, last duty assignment and rank, military job speciality, military education, decorations, medals, badges, citations, campaign awards, total creditable service, foreign service credited and separation information (type of separation, character of service, authority and reason for separation, separation and reenlistment eligibility codes).

“We don’t like to think about the possibility of fire or a tornado, but we must prepare for them,” said Airhart. “With this new system, we ensure that in the event of a disaster we will have the military records of Dallas County veterans protected, and in the worst of circumstances we will be able to provide them certified copies so they can get the benefits they have earned and deserve.”

The Dallas County Recorder’s Office recently completed a major project, indexing and imaging land and real estate records back to 1971. No other county in Iowa has this many years of real estate records indexed and imaged.

“Having these records electronically available not only provides ease of access to the records, but it provides a disaster recovery element for the county’s real estate and military records. Dallas County residents can be proud of this system as it ensures continuity of the recorder’s office in the event of a disaster,” added Airhart.

Published July 3rd, 2014 in the Dallas County News. http://adelnews.com/news/dallas-county-recorder%E2%80%99s-office-indexes-and-images-veteran-records-electronically.html

Former County Recorder Turns 100

Marguerite Gowin, Dallas County Recorder from 1957 to 1978, shared smiles with former deputy recorder Eleanor Myers and current county recorder Chad Airhart Thursday at Spurgeon Manor in Dallas Center. Gowin turned 100 years of age Saturday. “I’ve hung in there,” said Gowin.

She served 22 years as Dallas County Recorder, the seat’s longest elected tenure in county history. Gowin also served five years as deputy recorder under Amelia Fidler.

For Gowin, serving as Dallas County Recorder was a family affair. Gowin’s grandfather, John W. Grimes, was recorder from 1901 to 1907 with her mother Gertrude Grimes serving as deputy recorder from 1902 to 1905.

In a 1978 newspaper article, Gowin said that family tradition had nothing to do with her interest in the office.

“I was walking across the street to the dime store when Amelia (Fidler) asked me to come here and work for her. When she retired, it just seemed logical that I take over,” said Gowin.

A photo from 1903 still hangs in the Dallas County courthouse showing Gowin’s grandfather and mother seated at their desks. A note written by Gowin, attached to the back of the photo reads, “Property of Marguerite Gowin. This is the original picture taken in the Dallas County Recorder’s Office in 1903. My grandfather J.W. Grimes was recorder and my mother Gertrude Grimes was deputy when they moved into the present building in 1902. Her signature is on the back of the photo. The key was the one used at the ‘Stables’ at that time.”

Airhart brought the photo along during a visit to Spurgeon Manor in Dallas Center last week. Gowin hadn’t seen the photo since leaving office in 1978.

Gowin was born and raised in Adel and worked at the dime store and grocery store before becoming Dallas County Recorder. She held her position through 12 elections – terms changed from two to four years during her tenure. In the 1978 article, Gowin commented that she had opponents in every election.

During Gowin’s first year as recorder in 1957, the office received $8,036 in fees for recording real estate papers – deeds, mortgages, contracts, affidavits, etc. Twenty years later, near the end of her career, the amount of fees had tripled to $25,340.

Gowin mentioned in the article that one of the most efficient improvements came in 1971 when the office switched to making Xerox copies, which really cut down on a lot of work.

Gowin’s comments in 1978 summed up her 27-year career in the recorder’s office.

“We’re going to be busy getting things wrapped up. There are a lot of reports that have to be done the last day of the year. But it’s hard to unwind. I’ve worked all my life, but I’ve enjoyed this work and I’ll really miss it,” said Gowin.

Gowin left office to work part-time at her husband Keith’s hardware store, Gowin Hardware in Adel.

Myers, Gowin’s deputy recorder for 21 years, now lives a few doors down from Gowin at Spurgeon Manor and recalls Gowin’s work ethic.

“She was always working,” said Myers.

During their 21 years together in the Dallas County Courthouse, Gowin and Myers were the only employees in the recorder’s office. There are now eight full-time employees.

Thousands of documents still in use feature Myers’ and Gowin’s handwriting. “Let me say, you had beautiful handwriting,” commented Airhart while speaking with Myers. Myers took pride in the quality of her penmanship and is upset with changes to the current education curriculum.

“It makes me very perturbed that they’re not teaching cursive writing anymore,” said Myers.

Myers ran for county recorder in 1978 and 1982 following Gowin’s retirement but was defeated by another Marguerite – Marguerite West. Despite 21 years experience as deputy recorder, Myers still wonders if voters didn’t realize the difference between Marguerites.

Myers started as deputy one month after Gowin took office in 1957.

“I did everything that the recorder does, only I got 80 percent of the pay,” said Myers.

Myers graduated from Adel High School at the age of 16 and spent time working for an abstractor before accepting the position as deputy recorder.

After 21 years together in the Dallas County Recorder’s Office, Gowin and Myers have reunited at Spurgeon Manor in Dallas Center.

Myers is a member of the Spurgeon Manor Do-Good Club that collects 100 items during the month for the Dallas Center Food Pantry every time a resident turns 100. In the past year, four residents including Gowin have reached 100 years of age.

Written by Jason McGrann and published in the Dallas County News on June 5th, 2014. http://adelnews.com/news/former-county-recorder-turns-100.html

Dallas County Recorder Chad Airhart Files to be on 2014 Ballot

Adel, IA – March 3rd was the first day of the filing period to appear on the 2014 primary ballot. Dallas County Recorder Chad Airhart was the first candidate to file that morning. He filed with nearly double the required amount of signatures to qualify for the ballot.

“Four years ago I campaigned to streamline county government, make county government more efficient and to utilize technology. During my first term we have done just that. We have imaged and indexed over 40 years of real estate records, and returned nearly $1,000,000 to the general fund in the form of a surplus.”

Discussing the County Recorder’s finances, Airhart said, “Most government agencies are allocated tax dollars in a budget, and when they claim a surplus, it is that they did not spend all of the tax dollars given to them. In our office, we write a budget, estimating the revenues we will see from services we provide. In each of my budgets, we have budgeted to spend less than we take in, and that is exactly what we have done. We truly run like a business, and at the end of each year, we have a fund balance that goes back to the County general fund. These dollars are dollars that are a direct savings to everyone that pays property taxes in Dallas County.”

In addition to exemplary work in office, Airhart has been a leader outside of the office. He is currently in his second term as Chairman of the Iowa Republican County Officials Association, was just elected the Secretary/Treasurer of the District 1 Iowa Recorders, is the President of the Board for the Waukee Leadership Institute and serves on numerous community committees and boards.

Airhart believes that as the fastest growing County in Iowa and one of the fastest growing in America, Dallas County should be leading and setting an example for other local municipalities. “Whether it is our use of technology, budgeting practices or involvement in public policy that will benefit our citizens we should be out in front.” Last year, Airhart was an early backer of Governor Branstad’s property tax reform plan and spoke at the Governor’s weekly press conference touting the benefits for small business and citizens in Dallas County.

“We have led by example, but there is more work to do. I love my job and the team we have at the Recorder’s Office. Because of that, I am happy to once again be on the ballot for County Recorder, and hope to have the support of the public to continue serving.”

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