With over 35 years’ experience in land records, business administration and office management, Fred Sheeler has announced he is seeking election as Berks County’s Recorder of Deeds.
Sheeler, a Bern Township Democrat, previously served as Recorder from 2008 to 2020. Prior to that, he worked in banking for 10 years and was a small business owner of a residential lending company for 15 years, all of which gave him experience with and first-hand knowledge of the office of Recorder of Deeds and the many duties it requires.
First inspired to serve Berks as Recorder of Deeds in 2007, Sheeler saw the need for change in an office that was antiquated and fraught with problems. “Not only did it have a reputation for poor service, but there was also an air of suspicion hanging over it with the former Recorder being investigated for embezzlement within the office,” he said. Helping convict the former Recorder, Sheeler then proceeded to transform the office into a model for other counties.
“During my tenure, I reduced expenses by more than $2 million per year. Additionally, I made all documents dating back to 1752 available online and safely backed up off site. I also implemented electronic recording, allowing documents to be recorded within minutes of submission. For our veterans, I was proud to institute a Veteran’s ID Card Program while maintaining veterans’ records,” said Sheeler.
Some of his other accomplishments include implementing programs to prevent fraudulent recording, as well as alert property owners of all county properties containing toxic waste. Most importantly, however, Sheeler says he made good customer service a priority.
Unfortunately, in the past few years under the current administration, Sheeler has noted a disappointing decline in management of the office, record accessibility, and customer service in the Recorder of Deeds office. “The taxpayers of Berks deserve better,” says Sheeler.
“The Recorder of Deeds is more than just recording a deed. The Recorder is responsible for a multi-million dollar county government office and requires good management experience.”
He further noted that the Recorder should have extensive knowledge in real estate transactions and associated documents, liens, subdivisions, land plans and historic document preservation. The Recorder is also responsible for veterans’ records and for collecting and timely disbursing local and state real estate transfer taxes.
“I have proven I am knowledgeable in all aspects of the Recorder’s office and can do the job well,” said Sheeler, adding “experience and integrity matter.”