Two candidates - Diann Quastad Minion, Republican, and Phyllis Martens, Democrat - are running for the office of Emmet County Recorder in the June 4 special election. The position is to fill the remaining year and a half of a vacancy.
Question: Please give a brief biographical description of yourself, including your relationship to Emmet County, family, activities, professional experience or other items you would like included.
Answer: I was born and raised here in Emmet County and graduated from Estherville High School in 1982. After high school, I graduated from Iowa Lakes Community College with my A.S. degree in 1984 and started working for a CPA firm in Estherville. I am married to Mike Martens and we have two daughters, Leah and Molly. We have enjoyed raising our family here and have been actively involved in the community. Recently, I volunteered as a 4-H leader for eight years and was also a member of the 4-H and youth committee and the 4-H Foundation. I am also active in our church and serve as Elder and past Sunday school teacher. I have much business experience to offer, as I have been employed in public accounting for almost 30 years and have fostered many positive relationships with our clients over the years.
Q: What do you see as the responsibilities of Emmet County Recorder and why do you believe you are qualified for the position?
A: The responsibilities of Emmet County Recorder are many, including: maintaining official records of documents affecting real estate such as recording all deeds, real estate contracts, mortgages, extensions, amendments, easements, leases, articles of incorporation, power of attorney; and vital records such as births, deaths and marriages; passport agent; military service records; boat, snowmobile and ATV registrations, issuing hunting and fishing licenses, and many additional duties and services.
I feel I am qualified to be the Emmet County Recorder as I have an A.S. degree from Iowa Lakes Community College and my background is in business. I am proficient in using our ever-changing technology and have much experience using many computer software applications including electronic filing with federal and state agencies. I have been employed in the public accounting sector for the past 29 years, working for a certified public accounting firm in Estherville. I have enjoyed working in all aspects of public accounting; however, I feel that it is time to make a career change and see what else I can offer by doing something a little different, but by continuing to serve the public.
Q: Describe your philosophy of customer service and how you would practice it in the Recorder's Office.
A: My philosophy of customer service is based on providing a positive experience and accessibility. Whether in person, by telephone, or by email, customers must be able to contact the Recorder's Office when assistance is needed, and be sure of a friendly, helpful response. I would practice this by treating the customers with professional, courteous and timely answers to their requests.