“Register Howe sets new course”

The following letter to the editor was published in the August 23, 2018 edition of the Lowell Sun. It’s from Richard Cuoco, a professional land surveyor from Tewksbury.

Before Richard took over as Register of Deeds it pretty much functioned as it has since 1855, with the exception of the invention of photocopiers.  There was very little automated or computerized indexing, all deeds were placed on photo copiers and bound into thousands of books and placed in racks similar to a library. Land plans were stacked in large drawers and the cost of reproducing a copy for the public was expensive and time consuming. Researchers huddled around on small desks and lifting heavy record books and it took days to complete their tasks. Thanks to Richard’s modernization you can now look up deeds and plans online from the comfort of your home or office and print them out on your own printer.

Over the years Richard has expanded the scanning capabilities and modernization of the Registry of Deeds records, however; he is not resting on his laurels. He is already planning new and improved equipment and techniques that will enhance older records to insure that these irreplaceable documents are preserved for generations.  Safekeeping of these vital records since 1855 is an important job that should only be entrusted to an experienced proven professional such as Richard P. Howe, Jr.

Please remember to vote to re-elect Richard P. Howe Jr. on Tuesday September 4 and again on Tuesday November 6, 2018.


Dick Cuoco

Tewksbury, MA

2 Responses to “Register Howe sets new course”

  1. John says:

    Richard Howe will receive my vote when he updates the computerized record system to identify condominium boards that record annual meeting results as per MGL183A. Compliance provides valuable information for realtors, buyers, owners, and small businesses while helping to ensure owner involvement in association decision-making.

  2. DickH says:

    Thanks for your comment, John. That information is already available online. If you enter the condominium names in the Last Name field (e.g. “Main Street Condominiums”) and click “search,” all records containing that name will be displayed. Just look for one with the document type “election” or “acceptance.” Those will show the latest activity by the condominium board.

    However, you raise a more important point which is whether condominium boards are actually complying with this law. Many are not. They either do not have annual meetings or, if they do, they don’t record the appropriate documents at the registry of deeds. Unfortunately, there is no enforcement mechanism or penalty built into the condominium statute. Perhaps there should be, because the lack of this information is, as you point out, potentially harmful to all of the owners of units in that complex.

    To try to help with this, I’ve compiled a list of all condominiums in the district and made note of the date of the most recent recordings that identify the condominium board. My hope is to provide some kind of training opportunity for those involved in condominium governance so that they are aware of what the law requires. I’ve discussed this with local lawyers and lenders and hope to do something next spring.