By Aaron Connor, Democratic Candidate for Maricopa County Assessor
This was an upsetting week for Maricopa County residents. In a field where ethical service is the cornerstone, the trust of the fourth largest assessing office in the country was called into question. Such a rapid dissolution of public confidence requires remedy.
The assessor plays a role in the valuation of the over 1.6 million commercial and personal property accounts, administration of exemptions, updating property ownership, and providing the public with assistance on their rights within the valuation process. I filed to run for the Maricopa County Assessor to promote transparency and accountability in the office. My goal is to create an organization that embodies the ideals of fair and equitable valuation for all properties and taxpayers.
We can achieve this by promising a full-time leadership presence. While the current Assessor is incapacitated from serving, there was voluntary absence from the office for years. Leadership in name only dilutes organizational culture and the public’s confidence. That ends with me.
We will provide residents with empowered public servants. We will combat an over 50% staff turnover in the past four years. Such loss takes with it irreplaceable institutional knowledge. This requires filling over 40 positions chronically left vacant in the pursuit of salary savings. With a sharper eye on vendor spending and avoiding outsourcing local government duties to private firms in other states and countries, we can trim fat without cutting muscle. I will develop a culture of service by listening to past and current public servants that keep the office running, work with other Arizona assessors, and listen to the expertise of our County Board in order to build on their wisdom to restore our reputation.
Whether the current Assessor resigns, is recalled, or remains, the strongest message residents can send against this violation of public trust, is a resounding defeat at the ballot box in November 2020. Your presence at the voting booth can help heal what absentee leadership eroded over the past six years. It is time for a change and a time for leadership.
53 days of work in 2019 might be acceptable in the eyes of Mr. Petersen, but not for me. It is time for a change at the Maricopa County Assessor’s office. I look forward to earning your vote next November. Visit www.connor2020.com to learn more about me and the campaign.