Deb Houghtaling announced Jan. 5 her filing to seek another term as Sarpy County clerk/register of deeds.
Houghtaling is completing her 24th year as county clerk and has been employed in the office since January 1976. She was appointed by the County Board in 1987 to complete the term of her predecessor and was elected in her own right in 1990. She has been reelected seven times.
Houghtaling is a Republican mother of two boys. She lives in Bellevue with her husband, Gary. A graduate of Papillion-La Vista High School, she and holds a management certificate from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Houghtaling said she is proud to have been able to strengthen internal audit process in paying county bills, enhancing county payroll processes and creating a Sarpy County Records Center that provides electronic access to official county records. She said the office improved workflow and demanded cross-training in all sections of her office improving efficiencies.
This past term, which started after the 2018 election, the clerk assumed the role of register of deeds and the merge delivered cost savings to the county.
“We are a busy office with passports, payables, payroll, the Records Center and so much more. We continue to handle the fast growth of Sarpy County and have added some additional improvements for our customers without increasing my staff. I have been able to hold the line on these expenditures and am very proud of my record of fiscal conservatism," Houghtaling said in a press release.
The release said her peers recognized her leadership on a statewide computerization issue when they elected her to serve on the board of directors of the Nebraska Association of County Officials as the representative of the Clerks, Register of Deeds and Election Officials group. She served three two-year terms on the NACO board.
Houghtalig was chosen as Nebraska Elected Official of the Year, which she said she considers a highlight in her career. Additionally, she co-chaired the Clerk’s Motor Vehicle Committee for the State and served on the Legislative Computerization Committee.
The release said Houghtaling has been instrumental in implementing numerous new services such as online/live County Board of Commissioner’s meetings with access to audio recordings-agendas and minutes; eRecording (electronic document recording system) and under her leadership, the office added “issuance of passports applications” generating additional revenue for the county. She improved the normal process by adding photos on-site making the County Clerk’s Office a one stop passport location. This process serves residents by allowing them a more convenient and improved experience processing their passport applications, while allowing them to take care of other county business at the same time.
Plans include greater use of the Sarpy website for customer convenience and the increase of different business-to-business electronic capabilities.