In 1992, she filled the unexpired term of Dorothy Loewen to become register of deeds.
“I had just planned to run (after Loewen left),” she said. “I knew if I filled that unexpired term I would be running, otherwise I wouldn’t have filled the unexpired term.”
After running the first time, Makovec said she enjoyed the position and continued running for consecutive terms.
“I just enjoyed working for the public and helping,” she said. “You meet a lot of people, great people, and you just try to help whatever needs they need to be helped with. I enjoyed that very much.”
Another draw to the job, Makovec said, was the new challenges that arose day-to-day.
“(The job) grows on you,” she said. “Most of it, now you have to have computer knowledge, but the rest of the stuff is learnable and it grows on you.
“And the longer you’ve been here, the better it is in this office because there’s so much to learn. You think you have it all down pat and then something will come in, a document, totally different than you’ve had and you’ve got to figure that out.
“That’s another thing that makes it interesting. You’re just not dealing with the same old thing all the time. It keeps you on your toes because things are changing and something comes in and you have to figure out––this is a little different, but it’s workable.”
Although she worked in the deeds office for 35 years, the majority of changes she saw began only five or six years ago with the introduction of computer scanning.
“We discontinued our in-house microfilming (in 2003) and just went to scanning,” she said.
Despite the technology changes, Makovec’s favorite part of the job didn’t change—helping the public.
The “public” covers a range of people, including people changing deeds, attorneys, abstractors, oil and gas companies, and even people interested in genealogy research.
“I think (the best part) was just helping the public and keeping things in order,” Makovec said.
“So many people would come in here and you’d be helping them and looking things up for them and they’d say, how do you keep all those things straight? Well, it’s just like anything else. You have a certain way you do things, a certain order they have to be in and accuracy is a big part in here.
“It’s just you’re taking care of people’s recordings, their important documents, and I don’t know, I just enjoyed doing all that for the people.”
Makovec recalled two specific memorable moments during her time in office, although she was quick to say “everything was” memorable.
She recalled enjoying County Government Days when school-age children would visit the Courthouse. She remembered a class of Hillsboro Elementary School students who visited her office. She later received thank you notes from each student.
“That was really neat,” she said.
She also remembered an oil boom in the 1980s, when office employees doubled.
“In the ’80s we had a terrible oil boom and we had four people working here at that time,” she said. “But every day seemed to be a challenge and I just enjoyed anybody that came in here.
“I’ve always had a good teacher ahead of me and good help,” she said. “I have been very fortunate.
“That’s a big asset, because once you learn it in here, you don’t want to be here just a year or two because it just grows on you. You keep learning and keep learning.”
Ottensmeier is new register of deeds
“I’ve been in this office for nine years, so it’s kind of an easy move, just to move right into the other chair,” she said.
Ottensmeier looks forward to “continually working with and for the people in Marion County.
“That’s who we work for—to please them and to help them in any way that we can,” she said.