Mark A. Thomas, of Sedalia, is one of several candidates in the race for Pettis County Assessor in the Aug. 2. primary election.
The other four candidates include Christopher C. Woolery, of Sedalia, Karen Hill, of Smithton, Angie Luebbering, of Sedalia, and Susan Young Yelton, of Sedalia, and with all five being Republican, the race will be decided during the primary.
Thomas, who recently moved back to the area, spent 28 years in managed health care and employee benefits and has a bachelor’s in finance. He said he decided to run for office because he wanted to be a public servant and that he would offer a “fair, equitable assessment of each individual’s property.”
Thomas said he doesn’t really see any big issues facing the assessor’s office that need to be addressed in the near future.
“As far as improvements, (Assessor) Karissa (Logan) has got it running like a fine-tuned machine. We need to expand more on the online …” he said. “I don’t have any issues with the assessor’s office, and the second floor of the courthouse seems to be running pretty tight. … We’ve got a good crew and the county seems to be running real good.
“But the thing as an assessor is you’ve got to keep maintaining that revenue stream because of your budgets. That’s why we still need to keep the field staff intact at the assessor’s office because they have the software they use and they also have the on-site pictures because people are constantly improving their properties, especially with Pettis County being such an agricultural (area), people are always repainting their barns or putting up new machine sheds.”
He said he sees the main responsibilities of the assessor as “maintaining the collection of revenues to maintain the budget of the county in a fair and equitable manner.”
When it comes to operating within the means of the assessor’s office’s budget, he simply said the person in that position needs to stay within their guidelines.
“You obviously have to run a tight budget and stay within your guidelines,” he said. “… I think the online will help out. We definitely don’t need to cut back on staffing at the office. … Because you’re always going to need that.”
If elected, Thomas’s goals for office are to “increase the efficiency of the office without detracting from staffing and increase the revenues for the county.” He said a challenge he sees in fulfilling the office is exceeding citizens’ expectation as far as customer service because visiting the assessor’s office should be a pleasant experience.
“I’m honest and have integrity,” he said of why citizens should vote for him.
Nicole Cooke can be reached at 660-530-0138 or @NicoleRCooke.