Promises Made, Promises Kept
In 2010, as a candidate for the office of Assessor, I promised to:
- Eliminate the three year backlog in appeals
- Improve customer service
- Restore the working environment within the Assessor’s office
- Extend the period for resolving taxpayer concerns and/or filing appeals from 30 to 60 days
- Restore office hours to M-F from 8-5.
- And, to work collaboratively with other offices, in the interest of reducing costs and improving how the county delivers services to our residents and businesses.
So what have we accomplished over the past 3 yrs and 4 months?
- The three-year backlog in appeals was eliminated in 2011 and appeal responses have remained current since.
- By re-organizing the office in 2011 and reducing management, I was able to restore five positions from ½ or ¾ time, back to full time and add one front line position within the existing Assessor budget. In 2013 when our Maintenance level budget was cut over 5%, I re-organized the office again and eliminated one of the three remaining management positions, in order to save all of my front line personnel. All Assessor staff have been cross trained, to assure we are able to stay on top of high workload periods wherever they occur in the office. We have greatly expanded the website in order to improve transparency and to make it much more easy for residents and businesses to research values.
- By establishing both team and office wide meetings, communications and procedural manuals, providing clear direction and encouraging/supporting continuing education, our highly skilled staff now function as one and moral is greatly improved.
- Extending the period for filing appeals from 30 days to 60 days has increased the period for dialogue to resolve taxpayer concerns and helped to reduce the number of appeals. In 2011, I discovered that the office had been sending out re-valuation notices several months late for nearly 20 years. In 2012 we filed a plan to get current, with the Dept. of Rev. and began sending these notices on time by June 1st. We have remained current every year since.
- Regular business hours were restored to M-F from 8-5.
- I have worked extensively with the Treasurer, Auditor, Commissioners, and other county elected officials, in addition to staff of many county departments and local government offices to improve efficiency and delivery of services.