Technological advances mark Holder's 30-year term

By Julie Fann
Star Staff

Register of Deeds Johnny Holder, an incumbent since 1970, says that since entering office he has focused on updating records so that processes operate more efficiently. In an interview conducted by the Star, Holder promised to continue his efforts of progress if re-elected.
   "The workload has increased quite a bit, and we've come from the old photostat machine to the computer age so that you can now sit at home and get copies of deeds," Holder said. As a result, Holder said those who work in the office can provide better service to customers. There is also more office space.
   "We scan deeds into the computer system now, so that attorneys can come in and access titles easily. We still have hard copies, and our index system is far more simplified," he said. Holder explained that there are now four different methods for obtaining indexed information, so that if customers cannot use one method due to a lack of necessary information, other indexes are available.
   Holder said his office submitted approximately $500,000 to the state in taxes on realty transfers and trust deeds last year, as well as $280,000 to the county. Recently, the state began controlling UCCs, Universal Commercial Codes, on personal property such as boats, farm equipment, etc., and, as a result, the register's office lost 8 percent of its money. Holder has had to work hard to maintain the budget and plan for the future, he said.
   Holder has also focused on getting archived books rebound that date back to 1796. "It costs $2,000 to bind just one of those books, and we managed to get four of them re-bound this year. They date back to when Andrew Jackson held court here. The historical committee contributed money toward the project," he said.
   Holder also said he and three registers from other regions met with state officials to circumvent an effort by the state to collect child support by placing liens on properties. "It was a thing that would have caused a lot of problems if they tried to implement it in the system. They found out that it wouldn't work, so they went a different route," Holder said.
   Holder's greatest strength, he said, is his working relationship with county government and his ability to communicate with them effectively. If re-elected, he plans to continue that relationship and also continue to improve technological advances in the office.
   Holder is a Carter County native. Married for 33 years, he and his wife have three children.