Register of Deeds retirement opens up ballot spot

Longtime Dukes County register of deeds Dianne Powers in her office at the Dukes County Courthouse Tuesday; she will retire on election day. — Photo by Sam Moore

Dianne Powers, Dukes County Register of Deeds, announced last week she will retire on Nov. 8 with two years remaining in her six-year term. Her decision adds another county contest to the November election ballot.

After 22 enjoyable years in office, Ms. Powers, a West Tisbury resident, told The Times, “I just saw an opportunity and decided to take it.”

She said the registry is in good shape, and scheduling her retirement on election day allows the position to be placed on the ballot so other candidates may step forward, which would not have been the case had she waited until later in her term. Ms. Powers said she believes the job should remain an elected and not an appointed position.

Ms. Powers said it is her understanding that assistant register Paulo DeOliveira will seek the job.

The Register of Deeds is responsible for recording all land transactions in Dukes County. Ms. Powers presides over an office with a fiscal year 2016 budget of $385,695 and a staff of three employees. This year she will earn an annual salary of $103,785. The office is located in the Dukes County Courthouse in Edgartown.

A total of 25 signatures are needed to run for county offices. Nomination papers for district and county offices must be submitted to local election officials for certification of names no later than Tuesday, May 3.

The state primary is Thursday, Sept. 8. The election is Tuesday, Nov. 8.