Gleason, Couch both seeking Genesee County Clerk seat



GENESEE COUNTY — Incumbent John Gleason will face challenger Jesse Couch for the Clerk/Register of Deeds seat in the Nov. 3 general election.

Gleason, a Democrat, is finishing his second term as clerk/register of deeds. He has served previously as a Genesee County Commissioner, State Representative and State Senator.

Couch, a Republican and a U.S. Air Force veteran, is best known in Genesee County as a country and gospel music recording artist. He said he is running because he thinks “it’s time for a change.”

Here is what the candidates had to say in their own words:

John Gleason, Age: 66

Accomplishments/goals if elected: My priorities are twofold, first to continue with our “Online! Not Inline” mantra with technological improvements.

Second to ensure our community partnerships continue. We invested more than $2 million in software improvements between the Clerk/ Register Offices.

After creating a collaboration with seven of Michigan’s largest counties Election Software was updated in March of 2017. Our newly instituted cloud-based software system ensured ROD record integrity during the County’s ransomware attack in 2019.

We increased our patrons’ access from 20 years to 40 years for deeds and mortgages that are available to search and purchase online. The ROD instituted Fraud Guard which gives notice to homeowners anytime a land transaction occurs with their parcel. We partnered with the YWCA to create a grant funded victim advocate position. The ROD was awarded a State of Michigan Grant to document the lead pipe restoration program. 20,000 properties are affected by the lead water crises. The first 5,000 Affidavits are recorded and indexed. This process has fostered greater transparency for buyers and sellers of real estate in the City of Flint as both parties can verify if the water lines have been replaced.

Our goal is to continue to work with contractors to complete the Lead Pipe Remediation Annotation process. Lastly, if reelected I plan on instituting a mobile office so our services can come to residents across the County rather than residents visiting our Offices.

Jesse Couch, Age: no response

Accomplishments/goals if elected: It’s time for a change! My belief is that this is the year that supporters of both parties, will make a change. For decades we have voted the same politicians into office, getting the same “do nothing” results.

I am looking forward to making a lot of changes within the County Clerk’s Office. I have lived in Genesee County for more than 40 years. With my experience as a United States Air Force Veteran and air traffic controller, I will bring integrity and precision back to the Clerk’s office. I have been a businessman in Genesee County for more than 40 years, bringing with me the skills of running a business and valuing the importance of satisfied customers. As a successful recording artist and entertainer in the country and Gospel music business, it is my nature to connect with people and understand the different needs of all ages, races and walks of life.

I have found myself complaining for decades about the direction that not only our country is going, but our county as well. After many discussions with my wife, family and friends, I decided to stop complaining and try to do something about it. There are many changes that I would like to see take place the County Clerk Office.

I would like to begin by controlling the money that has been wasted within the clerk’s office. Funds wasted, is funds that could be used for programs that could help improve our community.

Also, I see a great need for our seniors and disabled that have been ignored. One of the first changes I will make will be to install a separate 1-800 telephone line for only seniors and the disabled. Allowing them to talk to a REAL person, whose sole purpose, is to accommodate their needs. Many seniors are not of this high-tech generation; they do not have computers and are not tech savvy. They should have more convenient access to obtain important documents without using a computer. Many disabled citizens do not physically have the ability to access computers. I will promise to make that change within the clerk’s office.

The Genesee County View will run more candidate profiles over the coming weeks for the various races through the county.