| G. Michael Dobbs
SPRINGFIELD – Assistant Clerk of Courts and former state Representative Cheryl Coakley-Rivera is the latest Democrat to announce a challenge to another Democrat this election season.
Coakley-Rivera formally announced her candidacy for Register of Deeds, a position that has been held by Donald Ashe who was first elected in 1982.
Republican Marie Angelides is also running for the position.
The other Democratic primary challenge is coming from former Springfield City Councilor Amaad Rivera who is facing state Sen. James Welch.
The idea of facing a long-term incumbent who has benefitted from the support of the Democratic establishment does not concern Coakley-Rivera.
“I’m not scared of campaigning. I believe in what I’m doing,” she said. She added, “I believe in public service. I don’t believe that people should think they are entitled to be public servants.”
Several hundred supporters gathered at the Biergarten at 1600 Main St. on June 22 at attend Coakley-Rivera’s announcement.
Coakley-Rivera, a lawyer for the past 20 years, has been an assistant clerk in Hampden Superior Court for the past five years, worked in the District Attorney's Office for eight years and spent 15 years as a state representative. She is a native of Springfield, a graduate of the former Cathedral High School, Northeastern University and Western New England University, School of Law. She is a member of the state and federal bars and belongs to the Hampden County Bar Association.
Speaking to Reminder Publications, Coakley-Rivera said, “I found myself, after five years as the assistant clerk of courts, wanting tot go back into the community.”
She envisions the office of register of deeds as a means to educate people about home ownership. Coakley-Rivera said, “One of the most important things is the security of the home.”
Topics for possible educational outreach include reverse mortgages, the Homestead Act, uses of trusts to own property, the effect of liens and the impact of credit problems on financing applications, she said.
She praised the professionalism of the current staff, but she said that she is elected she will do far more outreach, bringing the services of the office outside of Springfield.
“Why not Wilbraham, Palmer or other locations? There are municipal buildings and senior centers that can accommodate the Registry of Deeds for seminars and opportunities for questions to be answered. This office should be taking itself to the people. Convenience and accessibility will be a top priority,” she said. She acknowledged that Ashe announced added hours for an office in Westfield City Hall.
She would also adopt “full transparency” by posting the office’s budget and spending activities online.
Coakley-Rivera said residents “deserve a full-time register.”
For more information, go to cherylcoakleyriverafordeeds.com