January 24, 2012

Report Highlights Continued Accomplishments and Tax Dollar Savings

through Streamlined Staffing and Technology Improvements

WHITE PLAINS, NY:  Despite the downturn and uncertainty in the economy, the Westchester County Clerk continued to improve his operations in 2011.  And significant successes were achieved.  “Guided by my commitment to making government easy for Westchester residents, last year my office successfully accomplished innovative, cost-effective, and efficient government improvements that became possible through new technology enhancements and legislative victories,” stated Westchester County Clerk Timothy C. Idoni.

The 2011 Annual Report released today, highlights Idoni’s continued success in saving tax dollars, primarily through a combination of staffing reductions, achieved through attrition without any layoffs, and the implementation of new technology improvements that allowed for streamlining processes by sharing workload with the private sector. “Once again, our Property Records Electronic Portal (PREP), launched in 2009, continues to be a tremendous success, saving over $830,000 in 2011,” shared Clerk Idoni.  “PREP’s success has attracted interest from other county departments looking at ways to improve efficiencies and save additional tax dollars in contract administration.”

In the County Clerk’s Legal Division, the smooth transition to electronic filing through the New York State Courts Electronic Filing (NYSCEF) System has resulted in a sharp reduction in scanning, retrieval and storage costs, saving even more tax dollars.  “We eased the transition to electronic filing through classes offered at our White Plains training room, through local bar associations and onsite in large law offices, where we have trained over one thousand customers to date,” said Idoni.

The report also details Clerk Idoni’s intergovernmental success with crafting and then successfully lobbying on behalf of the New York State Association of County Clerks (NYSACC) for state electronic recording legislation that allows for County Clerks to receive and record land records such as deeds and mortgages.  The legislation, sponsored by Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assemblyman George Latimer, was signed into law last fall by Governor Cuomo, thereby ending New York State’s distinction as the only state that did not have legislation authorizing the electronic recording of land records.  “Two years of work with two Governors, the state legislature, business partners, the New York State Bar Association, New York State Land Title Association and New York Bankers Association resulted in landmark legislation that removes the cumbersome process of moving paper documents through clerk offices while helping achieve significant tax dollar savings,” stated Idoni, co-chair of both the NYSACC Electronic Recording and Legislation Committees.

As the economy struggles to emerge from this downtown, the County Clerk’s Office remains committed to protecting our residents and businesses. “We will remain vigilant in advocating for stronger laws, keeping you informed, and safeguarding the records entrusted to our care,” concluded Idoni.

The Office of the Westchester County Clerk is located at 110 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in White Plains and is open from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays.  For more information, or for a copy of the 2011 Annual Report, please visit our website at www.westchesterclerk.com or call (914)995-3081.