In the Kennett Spotlight
Candidates for
Register of Wills
Recorder of Deeds

by AJ Miguel

In just 34 days, Chester County voters head to the ballot boxes to make their voices heard.  These local races are just as critical as any national contest, and are an opportunity to clearly state that the years of one-party politics in our county are behind us.  The candidates on the Democratic ticket are qualified, committed to customer service, and ready to hit the ground running to fight for our priorities from Day One.  In these unprecedented times when our national leaders are cavalierly shirking morality at every turn, these candidates know the importance of bringing integrity, fairness and respect to the job.  Cast your vote with confidence for Debbie Bookman for Prothonotary, Chris Pielli for Recorder of Deeds and Michele Vaughn for Register of Wills on November 5th!

Prothonotary – Debbie Bookman

The Office of the Prothonotary handles civil court cases filed in the Court of Common Pleas and provides services such as divorces, name changes, civil and family court records, passport processing, judgements and liens.  The office also processes Protection from Abuse Orders and the swearing in of all new citizens in Chester County.  Debbie Bookman brings to the table both personal and professional experience with the issues and challenges the office faces.  She understands that customer service and efficient access to information by citizens and attorneys alike are the keys to success.

Debbie’s public service started in New York, working in an assemblyman’s office serving constituents.  Her civic and community involvement only grew after moving to Coatesville with her two daughters in 2005, serving on various committees in her school district and on Coatesville’s Parks and Recreation Commission.  She worked with families and women dealing with homelessness and drug addiction as Vice-President and Treasurer of the Board of Directors for the Community Youth and Women Alliance.

In 2017, Debbie was elected to the Coatesville City Council, defeating an 8-year incumbent.  In this role, she supports day-to-day operations and acts as a steward of taxpayer dollars, identifying areas of savings and allowing Council to adopt a budget with no tax increase.  Complementing her civic and community work, Debbie has 17 years’ corporate experience – and a BA in Organizational Management – dealing with risk and quality control, addressing areas of improvement and implementing proactive, forward-looking measures to optimize efficiency.  She has a clear plan to put her experience to work leveraging the technology and staff in the Office of the Prothonotary to provide seamless, efficient service to Chester County.

For more information about Debbie, visit:

Recorder of Deeds – Chris Pielli

The Recorder of Deeds preserves the integrity, accuracy, and continuity of the designated public land records of Chester County; this allows the public and businesses who work with these records to secure property ownership and engage in business involving real estate with confidence.  Chris Pielli is the only qualified candidate for this position.  He is the only attorney running for this office, and he is also the only candidate with deed recording experience.  In fact, Chris specializes in guardian, probate, and real estate law – to include recording of deeds.  He has also earned a Master Planner Certification in basic planning, zoning, subdivision and land development through Chester County 2020, Chester County Planning Commission, and West Chester University’s Master Planning Program.

Chris has a long record of public service, both to Chester County and to our nation.  He returned to West Chester after serving in the U.S. Army, where he completed the U.S. Army Airborne (Paratrooper) Course and received two Commendation Medals during his service.  While working full-time at the Chester County Prison as a Correctional Officer and Correctional Counselor, Chris attended Temple University Law School, then served as a part-time Chester County Public Defender for five years while establishing his own practice.  He is now a West Goshen Township Supervisor, where he chaired both the Board of Supervisors and Comprehensive Plan Task Force Committee, in addition to serving as a liaison to the Planning Commission and the Parks and Recreation Committee.

Even with his other commitments, Chris recognizes the need to give back to the community.  He worked with the non-profit Chester County OIC Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program, the Workforce Reintegration Program, and the Career Corps program, helping employ local veterans and at risk youth.  Currently, Chris serves on the board of the Movement Community Development Corporation in Coatesville.

As Recorder of Deeds, Chris will bring his legal and public service expertise to continue serving the broader community.  He will work to protect our most vulnerable citizens from fraudulent deed transfers and will expand our veteran’s outreach and discount program to what it truly deserves to be.  He believes that Chester County residents deserve the highest level of quality public service; his pledge to the voters is to bring open, transparent, and responsible government to all.

For more information about Chris, please visit:

Register of Wills/Clerk of the Orphans’ Court – Michele Vaughn

The Register of Wills is responsible for probating wills and granting letters of administration in cases where someone dies without leaving a will, and is the Commonwealth’s agent for the collection of the state inheritance tax.  The Clerk of the Orphans’ Court accepts filings for Court matters, as well as reports filed by guardians of adults who have been adjudicated incapacitated.  Michele Vaughn has over 30 years of experience delivering for our community as a business and technology leader.  She is committed to simplifying the processes of these offices and opening lines of communication to make sure the vulnerable populations she serves are directed to the programs and services available to them.

In her role as East Whiteland’s Township Supervisor, Michele launched the township’s first Community Health Day and Senior Citizens Day to connect individuals with available health resources.  She also worked with Fox Chase Cancer Center to offer free mammograms to uninsured and under-insured women throughout Chester County.  She knows that both awareness of and access to social services is critical to effectively serving your citizens.

The Register of Wills and the Orphans’ Court each interact with individuals at their most vulnerable.  Helping someone navigate the legal system following the passing of a loved one requires empathy, tact, and competence.  In addition to her tactical expertise, Michele will bring compassion to the position.  She will promote transparency, use technology to simplify processes, and explore innovative solutions in the execution of the duties of the Register of Wills/Clerk of Orphans’ Court.

For more information about Michele, please visit:

On November 5th, let’s head to the polls and #FinishTheJob with #NoRegrets.  Vote for Debbie, Chris and Michele!