Under Mitch Clark's watch more public documents have become available, free of charge.
The Hall County Register of Deeds says he's trying to do what's best for taxpayers. "I work for you," he said.
But Clark admits he got off on the wrong foot when he asked for mileage to run errands in town and asked for a bigger budget.
The county board wants to go in the opposite direction, combining offices including Clark's.
County Board Chair Pam Lancaster said, "We feel this is one of the areas where we can save money. I don't believe the man on the street will generally be able to tell."
The idea is to merge the two offices that deal with property. The assessor sets values for tax purposes and the register of deeds tracks who owns what.
But Clark balks at that. He said, "They're totally unrelated to each other and it's a bad combination. Two departments have no reason to be combined together."
Clark says this is one case where he's against smaller government. "There just isn't any other county that's ever proved merging two departments together has saved money," he said.
However, the vast majority of Nebraska's 93 counties have taken this step. Pam Lancaster has done her homework, and said many who serve as register of deeds are also the assessor, and in many cases, also the county clerk or another office.
Lancaster said, "There are only 17 counties across Nebraska that register of deeds is not combined with another office now."
But Clark points to Lancaster County where budgets rose after offices combined.
Salaries accounted for most of the increase, which may or may not have happened without the merger.
On at least one budget line, combining offices would help. Pam Lancaster said, "We will save that $75,000 because there will be one less official."
Clark would keep his job for at least two years. That's when voters would decide who is going to run the combined office -- if they chose to merge them this November.
Clark butted heads with the county board last week in heated phone exchanges.
Board members say he's difficult to work with and see this is a way to save money. But Clark maintains it will end up costing more.