By Dominik Lobkowicz
Two Republican Lincoln County candidates wrapping up their first full terms are running unopposed for re-election this year.
Registrar of Deeds Rebecca S. Wotton, R-Bristol, and Treasurer Richard H. Newell Jr., R-Newcastle, were both elected to their positions in 2010.
Banking veteran and local pastor Rick Newell said he has enjoyed his first term as Lincoln County treasurer.
Lincoln County Treasurer Rick Newell (D. Lobkowicz photo)
“I found my first term to be fun and I wanted to try one more term,” Newell said.
Newell said he has around 30 years experience in community banking. He started in banking as a teller and advanced to vice president and commercial loan officer by
the time he left the industry
It was a former co-worker – and former Lincoln County treasurer – Don Williams who asked Newell to run for the position, Newell said. He ran unopposed in 2010.
Newell described the job as basically paying the bills the county commissioners authorize, tracking the county’s finances and making reports, and working with the
county’s audit firm to prepare for the annual audit.
Since taking office, Newell said his office has been involved with the county’s switching of payroll service companies, and a complete switch in financial software –
a process he described as “interesting and challenging.”
“It’s been an interesting journey. I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect. He [Williams] told me that I had a great deputy, and I do, Mary Stacey,” Newell said. “She
is the heart and soul of the treasurer’s office. Everything that goes through there basically goes through her.”
The part-time nature of the treasurer position has worked out well for Newell as a bi-vocational pastor.
“This [position] has lent itself to that part of my life very well. In taking on the position to serve, I’m also being served by the position in that it interacts
very well and allows me to serve two little churches,” Newell said.
Newell is pastor for Newcastle- Alna Baptist Church in Alna and for Christ Church in Damariscotta.
“I do indeed walk that fine line of keeping religion and politics apart.
When I’m here, I’m here for the county,” he said.
Registrar of Deeds
Rebecca Wotton stepped into her current role when former Register Marcia Silva retired in 2009. She was elected to the position the following year.
Lincoln County Registrar of Deeds Rebecca Wotton (D. Lobkowicz photo)
Wotton said she has worked for the deeds office for 22 years, but started off sharing time between deeds and the probate office before ending up in deeds full time.
As registrar, Wotton said she is responsible for receiving and reviewing any and all land records that need to be recorded, such as deeds, mortgages, survey plans,
foreclosures, trust certificates, and others.
“Anything that relates to property,” she said.
After reviewing the documents, Wotton turns them over to the clerks to process, and she completes the recording by verifying or indexing the documents.
“I can do the whole process; I don’t necessarily have to every day but I do on occasion,” she said.
One of the more substantial changes in the deeds office since Wotton became registrar is the ability to accept electronic recordings of documents.
“We have everyone from attorneys in Damariscotta to national companies who send their recordings [documents] to us all electronically,” Wotton said.
The electronic process makes it faster for filers to correct any deficiencies, and makes use of a system that was already available through the office’s software
provider, Wotton said.
Currently the office is handling a few hundred e-recordings per year – a small amount when compared to the 12,000 documents it handles annually – but Wotton predicts
more and more local attorneys and banks will be switching to the electronic method.
The other big project the deeds office will continue working on is scanning physical documents to make them available to users online.
Currently the office’s electronic index of documents goes back to 1954, but the documents themselves are only scanned in as far as 1962, Wotton said.
“That’s quite a project,” Wotton said. “It’s time consuming, but that’s basically what we do in our spare time.”