Two tout experience in Trumbull recorder race

WARREN — With longtime Trumbull County Recorder Diana Marchese deciding not to run for re-election, the open seat will see political activist Debbie Roth battling it out with a relative newcomer, Tod Latell.

Roth, a Republican, of Warren, said the outgoing recorder has done a great job in operating the administrative office of six employees and maintaining 26,000 documents archived in a second office.

“We need to be a watchdog of the county documents,” Roth said. “It is a good operation and we need to keep it going that way.”

If she wins the election, Roth expects to operate a fiscally responsible, service-oriented department.

“I want to make sure that the office continues to run efficiently and also ensure that the technology dollars are being spent effectively,” Roth said.

Roth has a bachelor’s degree in business administration an associate’s degree in criminology and has a paralegal degree.

She was the president of the grassroots organization, Our Lives Count Inc. that from 2002 addressed environmental issues in Leavittsburg, including being involved with a class action lawsuit.

“Because of my background and experience, I believe I am the most qualified person to become the county’s next auditor,” Roth said. “About 90 percent of the work of the recorder’s office deals with paralegal work. This is something I know.”

“I will be a very hands- on manger,” Roth said. “I will be right there at the counter helping people.”

Latell, a Democrat, of Girard, is an assistant vice president, branch manager and registered investment representative with Huntington National Bank.

Although Latell has never run for office himself, his family has had a long political legacy in Trumbull County. Latell’s father, Anthony Latell, served as a Trumbull County commissioner and was a former state senator and his uncle is John Latell, who served as Trumbull County engineer for many years.

Latell, who has been in the banking industry for about nine years, believes his management and other skills makes him qualified to take on the leadership needed when Marchese leaves.

“There are many similarities between my current position in the banking industry and our Trumbull County recorder,” Latell said. “We both require maintaining accurate and secure records. We both provide convenience and immediate access to those records, and we both are judged by the service we provide and the information we are responsible to protect.”

Latell, like Roth, said he has spoken to Marchese about the job and has spent time in the office to get a sense of its operation. There are 10 employees divided between two offices.

“Diana has run a successful office,” Latell said. “You’re only as good as your staff and her staff respects her. Under my leadership, the operations of the recorder’s office will  continue to be open and transparent.”

Latell said he wants to make sure the county records are easily accessible.

“They’ve already done a lot in updating software earlier this year,” he said. “I want to work closely with the county auditor’s office to make sure mortgages and deeds are available electronically.”