By Dave Russell
Shandra Sims moved into a new office and became the Jackson County Register of Deeds last Thursday following a unanimous vote by the Jackson County Board of Commissioners.
Chairman Brian McMahan performed the swearing-in, with sims’ husband, Dade Sims, in attendance.
Jackson County Democratic Party leaders, at a meeting the Tuesday before, had voted Sims to take the office following the retirement of long-time Register of Deeds Joe Hamilton.
Sims has worked in the deeds office for 21 years.
“Conrad Burrell hired me in 1994 part-time, right after they moved into the new building here,” she said Thursday in her office at the Justice Center.
She left the office to work for an attorney for four years, but came back in 2004.
“I’m a little nervous,” she said of taking over for Hamilton. “I know I have a lot more responsibility on me now, but I think we can do it. The girls and I have worked together for a long time. We get along well, we help each other out.”
About 90 percent of the Register of Deeds office work consists of recording plats, deeds, power of attorney agreements and more.
“We register births, deaths, marriages, military discharges and issue marriage licenses,” she said.
No weddings take place in the lobby of the office.
“We get those calls a lot,” Sims said. “We just issue the license.”
Sims plans on running for the office in November, 2022, her first foray into politics, she said.
“As a Democrat, I will be getting involved with the Democratic Party, just easing in there and doing what I can. I’m sure I am going to learn a lot. I just want to continue serving the citizens of Jackson County just like I was doing before. If they need anything, we’ll do our best to help them as much as we can.”
A major change is coming down the turnpike, she said.
“We worked into the budget for this year getting all of our indexes online, probably first of December, first of the year,” Sims said. “That was a big, big thing for us.
The Sims live in Cullowhee.
She and Dade Sims have a daughter, Tiffiny Sims, who gave her a granddaughter, Clara. They also have a son, Wyatt Sims.