By LISA WHALEY
For Teresa Bowman, experience in a job is always important. But to successfully perform the duties of Washington County’s Register of Deeds, Bowman said, it becomes not only important, but also essential.
“We deal with 100 different types of documents in our office,” said Bowman, who works as bookkeeper in the Register of Deeds office, and is currently a candidate in the 2018 election for the position, soon to be vacated by long-time register Ginger Jilton, who is retiring. “This is not something you can do coming in off the street.”
Bowman has been a fixture in the register’s office for 15 years now, working alongside Jilton and a staff she considers dedicated and well-trained. As discussion turned to the possibility of Jilton’s retirement several years ago, Bowman said she was delighted to find herself chosen by her coworkers as the best person to follow in the current register’s footsteps. Since that time, she said, she has been focusing on learning every nuance of the job and is excited for the chance to serve.
“For the last few years, I have been involved in all the day-to-day workings of the office,” she stressed.
Of course, working with the public is nothing new to Bowman, who spent years in the banking industry before moving into the Register of Deeds office, nor is a deep appreciation for the communities of Washington County for whom she wants to serve.
“I was raised in Johnson City,” Bowman said. “Thirty-three years ago I married my husband and moved to a farm in Bowmantown.”
County living was a new experience for this city girl, but she soon grew to love farm life, the closeness of her neighbors and their commitment to each other.
“It’s a good, family place to be,” she said. As for the other details of county living, “I don’t garden,” Bowman added with a smile. “But I can and I freeze and I (put up foods.)”
She is also, she said, exacting in her work and determined to maintain the high standards she believes are already a strong part of the Washington County Register of Deeds office.
“It is a very big responsibility,” Bowman stressed. “We have a great office. And we have a very good reputation.”
Bowman is determined to maintain that reputation. But she also has some dreams and goals of her own, especially in regards to veterans.
“The first thing I want to do is implement the Thank-A-Vet program,” she said. The program provides veterans with a photo ID card as a subsequent step in their discharge process, as well as some benefits along the way.
Bowman is also committed to continuing the historical preservations of vital county documents. Right now, she said, they’ve already been able to successfully preserve documents dating back to the late 1700s.
She wants to continue her already established relationships with local attorneys, software developers and numerous other contacts important to the smooth running of the county office.
And she remains dedicated to ensuring Washington County has access to the newest technology to better serve their public.
Mostly, however, Bowman said, she promises to continue to serve each and every citizen of Washington County in a way they deserve.
I will be a hands-on register. Even though I will be the register, I will be involved in the day to day,” Bowman said. I will continue to have the friendly, courteous atmosphere that we have and keep the records as accurate and safe as possible.”