ALFRED — A high school teacher with a background in public health and and a senior title insurance underwriter are each vying to become York County’s next register of deeds.

Science teacher Republican Michael Provencher and title insurance underwriter Democrat Nancy Hammond  are each looking to fill the position currently held by Democrat Debra Anderson, who will retire at the end of December. Whomever of the two is elected Nov. 6 will take office on Jan. 1 for a four year term.

The new register of deeds will manage a staff of 10, including a deputy register, and look after records that stretch from today to colonial times.

Nancy Hammond

Hammond, 54, is a York County native who lives in Lyman. She earned a bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies from Rivier College in Nashua, New Hampshire, and graduated from Massabesic High School. Married, she is the mother of two sons and is employed by Atlantic Coast Title Company, LLC where she has worked for more than 34 years.

Provencher, 39, has a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s degree in public health from the University of New England. He is a graduate of Biddeford High School. Married, Provencher and his wife life in East Waterboro. He was a sheriff’s deputy in York County in the early 2000’s and before changing careers to teach science, and was a director at Wentworth-Douglass Hospital in Dover, New Hampshire.

Michael Provencher

“With 10 years of health care leadership experience, I changed careers, looking for an opportunity to work with young minds and offer my experiences to students,” he said.

We asked each candidate why they believe they are the best person for the job.

Hammond said after working with registries of deeds across Maine for the past 30-plus  years she understands the responsibilities of the office and the work performed there.

“A person’s real estate is likely their most valuable asset and the real estate records need to be maintained without errors and (be) readily available,” she said. “I have a good working relationship with the current registry staff, as well as many of the professionals that access the records.”

Hammond said she is ready to work with the current software provider to improve the online services that are provided to the public.

“When I have the need for government services, I’m always amazed at how much better the services could be if they had a more consumer-centric approach,” said Provencher. “My experience in leadership and the development of services that focus on the consumer should compliment the highly experienced team at the York County Registry of Deeds. I hope to build a service that brings the registry into the 21st century, all while maintaining the historical significance of the Registry.  I have a strong interest in history, the records of history and have always enjoyed my time at the registry researching property deeds that tell a story. The significance of deeds should never be underestimated, establishing property owner rights and the rights of others to that property. I feel strongly that government can benefit greatly from the skills of those in the private sector which oftentimes offer a ‘new set of eyes’ on a service.”

Candidates were asked their qualifications for York County Register of Deeds.

Provencher said his qualifications include: extensive leadership in the highly regulated field of health care at the executive level, dealing on a daily basis with operational challenges; been part of  management as a leader and always enjoys change that is for the better of everyone; adoption of modern technologies in the delivery of services; and development of functional teams based on mutual respect, consensus building and vision development.

Hammond said her qualifications include: knowledge of the operations and duties of the office; understanding of the State of Maine real estate statutes; managerial experience in an office; and pride in the York County Registry of Deeds and a desire to maintain the valuable information that is stored there.

— Senior Staff Writer Tammy Wells can be contacted at 780-9016 or [email protected]

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: