When I started this campaign late last year, I had a platform:
- Fair and accurate assessments
- Great communication with constituents, including a better website, an e-newsletter, an annual report to the community, and frequent public meetings
- Great technology, especially consumer-facing technology
That platform has not changed even a little, but as I have campaigned—talking to people from one corner of the county to the next, from one buffet breakfast to another, how I think and talk about it has changed somewhat.
I have come to see my platform as simply a commitment to excellence fueled by a commitment to best practices.
Of course, a commitment to excellence is worth exactly nothing without specifics, so I am glad I started with specifics, and for each of those four planks, I have many other specific ideas spelling out what they mean.
In addition to visiting all 64 Colorado county assessor websites beginning about 20 months ago, and interviewing county assessors in Colorado and elsewhere, one of the first and best things I did was join the International Association of Assessing Officers (IAAO), which is the global professional association for assessors.
The people I have met through that organization (well, met through phone calls and emails) have been invaluable as I developed my ideas about best practices. This is an organization dedicated to excellence in the profession, to developing and understanding and disseminating best practices.
That’s why I was stunned when I learned that almost no one in the Jefferson County Assessor’s office is a member of IAAO. Once I am elected, I will find a way to enroll more of the office staff in IAAO, and I will also take steps to establish a Colorado chapter. I think it is important.
I have met many on the staff and know that most of the people in the office take pride in their work and want to do great work. Other county assessors and people who work in the Colorado Division of Property Taxation have also told me that the staff is top notch.
I intend to help and guide the staff to do their best possible work. That, in a nutshell, is the job of every public official. It’s why I’m running for Jefferson County Assessor.