Wes Allen speaks to PCYP

Published 10:35 am Friday, June 28, 2013

By Kelsey Vickers, Messenger Intern

Pike County probate Judge Wes Allen spoke to the Pike County Young Professionals Thursday about different advancements within the office.

Allen noted how fortunate he feels to have his position.

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“I’ve been blessed to have this opportunity to serve as your probate judge,” he said. “It’s been a great experience.”

He went on to say that in 2010, the probate office announced some things they would start working on, and one of those things was passports.

“We’re very pleased with that program and how that’s benefited the county and citizens, as well as the university,” he said. “We have a lot of students going abroad to study, as well as students going on mission trips. I didn’t think our taxpayers should have to go to another county to get a passport.”

Allen said last year they serviced more than 300 applications for passports.

“It’s been very successful,” he said.

“The thing is, we can’t do anything without people and we’re a people business,” he continued. “No matter what you do, it comes down to the people.”

He spoke highly of the nine ladies in the office, saying how dedicated they are to the taxpayers of the city.

“Everything we do should make life easier for the taxpayers,” he said.

Allen shared how important he thinks it is to have people in the office who share the beliefs of the citizens.

“It matters what the public officials think and what their philosophies are in life and government,” he said. “It affects everyone, whether you realize it or not.”

He talked about his passion for history, saying, “I believe we have to preserve our history and can’t forget who we are.”

Allen pulled out a large red book with “Stray Book” emblazoned on the cover. He explained that the book originated from information dating back to the 1800s.

“In the 1800s, people lost their animals quite often,” he said. “So they had a lot of stray animals wandering around.”

Allen explained the book was a way to log where wandering livestock ended up. The book is still found at the Probate Office.

“I’m committed to taking care of our history in Pike County,” he said. “We’ve done a tremendous effort with getting books like this encapsulated and put together.”

He spoke of how important the recording room in the probate office is.

“It’s where you first see economic activity take place,” he said. “When someone sells property, researchers come in and make copies; this is where the process starts. It’s vital that we have good records.”

Allen also spoke about the measures the office is taking to ensure that none of the records are ever lost.

“We went back to our records 50 years back and scanned them on an external hard drive,” he said. “So if a tornado ever comes through Troy, we can be up and running again in a relatively short period of time.”

Allen also said the office is currently looking into making records available online.

“I’m committed to finding solutions that will help us be successful,” he said. “Just know that I will do everything I can to help, because I understand. At the end of the day, it’s about serving people.”