Monday, February 15, 2010

Should people be able to search Mecklenburg County property records by name?

Mecklenburg County is conducting a survey on whether it should remove the ability to search by name for property owners in the county. And officials are also looking for feedback from "power users" of the online property records system for future development of the county's property records search tool.

For background, check a story in the The Charlotte Business Journal.

My personal opinion on the name search: Keeping government records open and accessible to all is important. Some people apparently are concerned about safety when anyone can search property records by name. I suspect that if this search method is taken away, someone else will just step in to provide the service for a fee to those who can afford it. These days, if someone wants to find out where you live, even without an online name search capability for your property records, they can find you. And the advantages to all of being able to track absentee landlords or other property owners enhance transparency, safety and community as a whole, outweighing some individuals' concerns.

Your two cents may vary, and I encourage you to take the survey.

If you're a "power user" of the POLARIS property records online tool, consider attending a focus group at 9:30 a.m. Monday.

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