Jerry Houghton, the Tooele County Recorder and Surveyor, is an outstanding example of an elected county official in Utah who is dedicated to providing better services and improving efficiencies for the residents of Tooele County. With several decades of experience as both a resident and a business owner in the area, Jerry understands the challenges faced by the community. He has made it a priority to find solutions and ensure that the county office operates smoothly and effectively.
Serving the Community:
Jerry Houghton’s commitment to the community is evident in his approach to his work. He understands the importance of being accessible and gathering input from the residents. He frequently visits the local barber shop to connect with the community and stay informed about their needs and concerns. This hands-on approach allows him to better represent the interests of the people he serves.
In rural counties like Tooele, it is common practice to consolidate services to better serve the citizens while saving taxpayer dollars. Tooele County elected to combine the positions of the Recorder and Surveyor, as well as other property services, into a single department headed by Jerry Houghton. This consolidation has proven to be highly effective in improving efficiency and communication among different departments.
Two years ago, Jerry was also asked to take on additional responsibilities, including engineering, planning, zoning, and building inspections. Initially, this may have seemed like a challenge, but it has actually worked out very well. By bringing these services under one office, the county is now able to provide faster and more efficient project management services to its residents.
Enhancing Property Management:
Property ownership and the management of rights, boundaries, and titles are critical aspects of our nation’s infrastructure. At the county level, governments are responsible for overseeing the management of real property. Tooele County, being the second-largest county in Utah in terms of land, faces unique challenges in this area.
To address these challenges and make it easier for residents to manage their property rights, Jerry and his team have developed a comprehensive online service for tracking, submitting, and reviewing property records. Previously, county residents living in outlying areas had to spend up to four hours driving to the city of Tooele to access the county offices and records. Now, they can conveniently access and review their property records online, saving time and effort.
Technology and Innovation:
Jerry Houghton’s dedication to serving the community is demonstrated by his swift action in leveraging technology to improve services. Shortly after being elected, he worked with the IT department to create a web-based system that allows residents to access property records from the comfort of their own homes. This innovative solution has significantly increased accessibility and convenience for county residents.
The Role of County Government:
County government plays a vital role in our Republic. It is at the county level that local challenges are addressed, and solutions are developed by the people who understand the needs of their community best. The Utah Association of Counties, of which Jerry Houghton is a part, serves as the unifying voice of county government officials in Utah.
Jerry Houghton, the Tooele County Recorder and Surveyor, exemplifies the dedication and commitment of elected county officials in Utah. Through his efforts, he has improved the efficiency of the Tooele County Treasurer Office and enhanced services for the residents. By combining various departments and implementing innovative online solutions, Jerry has made it easier for citizens to manage their property rights. His work is a testament to the importance of local government in addressing local challenges and finding practical solutions that benefit the community as a whole.