Christina Stueve Hodges Oct. 29, 2012, 3:39pm

In the race for Madison County Recorder, voters will soon choose between Democrat Amy Meyer, an Alton attorney, and Republican incumbent candidate Matt Rice, in the office that oversees the recording of mortgage documents.

Rice, who was first elected in 2010, had formerly served as Wood River Township Clerk from 2005-2009.

Rice claims he is different from his opponent due to what he considers a “proven record of following through with his promises.”

He said he promised not to take a county pension during his last campaign, and once he was elected, he said he became the first countywide official to reject a taxpayer-funded pension.

He also said he returned his pay increase for 2011 and did not accept a pay increase for 2012, as promised during his last campaign.

“I realize that the people of Madison County are facing very difficult financial times,” he said in a written statement. “As elected officials we should not take advantage of benefits that are often times unavailable to those we serve.”

If re-elected, Rice said he plans to preserve documents digitally to ensure recorded mortgage-related documents are handled less physically.

“I will continue to use funds effectively to help supplement the general fund and enable the Recorder’s office to undertake future projects vital to the security of Madison County’s history,” Rice said in a written statement.

Rice introduced electronic recording to the office during his first term. Rice says he consolidated services within departments, eliminating third party vendors, and negotiated lower rates with current vendors.

The Recorder’s office pays for itself through filing fees, set by the county board, collected from the public, Rice explained.

“This office runs on fees," he said "From my point of view, we need to be efficient in spending that money. Money we don’t spend goes back to the general fund and helps other county offices. I think that in doing so we can alleviate the burden to taxpayers.

“My office has been able to maintain a high level of service at a lower cost while protecting the property rights of all citizens of Madison County."

Rice, 33, is single. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science in 2003 and a master’s degree in public administration in 2005, both from Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville.

Rice’s Facebook page is “Matt Rice, Madison County Recorder.”

According to her web site, Meyer, 40, lives in Alton with her two children. She and her father formed the Meyer Law Firm in Alton in 2006. She is a part of the Madison County Bar Association. She has a bachelor’s degree in political science and a law degree from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.

She also has a Facebook page, “Amy M. Meyer.”

Meyer was contacted for an interview Oct. 10. Her campaign staff scheduled an interview but later canceled.

Candidate questions were also sent to her office, with no response. Meyer was called again for an interview Oct. 25. She said she would have her campaign staff call the Record to schedule an interview, but no call was received.

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