County Recorder Katie Dixon has entrenched herself in office for four terms and is confident she will skate into a fifth term. Issues surrounding the office are so ironclad, she said, that she refuses to debate with any other candidates. "This is a professional office. There is nothing to debate in this office," she said.
But her challenger disagrees. Democrat Richard W. Miller has tried unsuccessfully to arrange a debate with Dixon since before the primary, he said, accusing Dixon of avoiding debates for fear that he could expose issues that could make Dixon unpopular with businesses that deal regularly with the recorder's office.Miller says he has the endorsement of the Salt Lake Board of Realtors and what he describes as a majority of the presidents of area title companies.
Dixon lists as some of her accomplishments her position as president of the Institute for Land Information, chairwoman of the Dean's Advisory Board for the Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Utah, past president of the National Association of County Recorders and Clerks, chairwoman of a board of directors with the National Association of Counties and positions on other cultural and professional boards.
Dixon's involvements outside the county have earned her a reputation for being the county's top traveler at taxpayer expense. News clippings that document her travel and expenses have been circulated anonymously to reporters during the campaign.
Miller has accused Dixon's office of being less than congenial with title company representatives that do business with the office. Anyone standing in line to be waited on when the office closes at 5 p.m. is asked to leave and return the next day, he said.
"State law requires us to be open eight hours a day, and we're open nine," Dixon said. "At 5 o'clock we close up, and that is the law according to the county attorney. Title companies have all day to get their work in. We have a tight budget and still have to have people after closing to close out the various machines.
"We serve more people than any other (county) office and have the fewest complaints," Dixon said. "We bend over backwards."
Dixon, Miller and unsuccessful Republican primary candidate Nancy Workman have engaged in a personal accusation-swapping match via memos that also have been given to reporters anonymously during the campaign season.