RACINE — Tyson Fettes announced Monday that he plans to step down as Racine County register of deeds to become market president at the Community State Bank branch in Burlington.
Fettes’ last day is scheduled for April 26. Gov. Tony Evers will appoint someone to fill the position.
A lifelong Burlington resident, Fettes was appointed register of deeds by Gov. Scott Walker in 2011. He was one of 20 people who applied to fill the vacancy created when for Register of Deeds Jim Ladwig stepped down after being elected county executive.
Fettes was elected in his own right in 2012 and re-elected in 2016.
The register of deeds office oversees the filing of real estate and vital records such as birth, death and marriage certificates.
“I am humbled and honored to serve the people of Racine County for nearly eight years,” Fettes said in a release announcing his decision. “Since day one on the job, I have worked tirelessly to transform this office to better serve the public. We have accomplished a lot, and I am immensely proud of our work to make government more accessible.”
According the release, Fettes helped lead the modernization of the GIS system to allow for greater public access to data; oversaw a digitalization of all real estate records; made available online all 70,000 plats of land survey and implemented a notification system to track and prevent fraud. The GIS upgrades, which includes maps offering information on sales comparables, document recording, foreclosures, recreation, medication drop boxes and road construction, have won national and international recognition.
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Racine County Executive Jonathan Delagrave said: “We valued Tyson’s innovation and energy in the Office of Register of Deeds, and we wish him nothing but great success in his next endeavor.”
Fettes, who last summer was elected president of the Wisconsin Register of Deeds Association, also led successful pushes for new state legislation and testified in front of a U.S. Senate committee regarding the county’s GIS work.
Family banking tradition
Fettes’ father, Rick, was a vice president at Community State Bank for nearly 40 years.
“I feel I have accomplished what I set out to do, and now is the right time for a change,” Fettes said. “My grandmother and father were long-time employees, and Community State Bank has always been a huge part of my life and feels like a second family to me. In addition, working in my hometown allows me to spend more time with my family. The opportunity to serve my hometown in this role was too good to pass up.”
Scott Heudepohl, president and CEO at Union Grove-headquartered Community State Bank, said he has been trying to recruit Fettes since he met him five years ago.
“He cares about people, he cares about Burlington, and he cares deeply about seeing this area grow and prosper,” Heudepohl said. “He has all the intangibles to be a great community banker and we have the expertise and experience to teach him the business. I’m thrilled to have him part of the CSB family.”
Fettes, who graduated from Burlington High School in 2004, started working in government when he was a student at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, where he was elected student body president and graduated with a degree in sports business. Before being named register of deeds, Fettes worked as the director of marketing for Real Racine, the county’s visitors bureau.
In 2007, Fettes was elected to the Burlington Town Board, and said he plans to continue serving in that position.
Pete Wicklund and Stephanie Jones contributed to this report.