Two candidates are running for a position on the November ballot to elect Moniteau County's next County Assessor.
The winner of the Republican Primary on Aug. 4 will run unopposed in November for a four-year term. The Democrat gave both candidates the opportunity to respond to a series of questions about their experience, why they chose to run, and their goals while in office.
For my leadership experience, I spent 20 years in the Air Force before retiring at the rank of MSgt/E7. During this time, I held many leadership positions, supervising and mentoring up to a dozen airmen at a time throughout my career. I was also Interim Moniteau County Assessor from January through March of this year. During this time, I interviewed, hired and trained all new staff in the assessor's office. I also oversaw the majority of the 2020 Personal Property Assessment process; during the first three months of this year, with all new staff, we were able to receive, scan, process and update nearly 6,000 returned assessment forms in a timely manner.
My father retired from the Navy in 1975 and moved our family to Clarksburg. I grew up in Clarksburg attending Clarksburg Elementary School, graduated from California High School, and when my Air Force days were over, the only place I wanted to live and raise my family was here in Moniteau County. I have a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Information Systems from Chapman University in California, as well as a Master's Degree in Education from the University of Missouri.
The county assessor position is one that is very important, and I believe the people of Moniteau County should have a choice as to who they want providing assessments of their real estate and personal property assets. With all that has transpired over the past eight or nine months in the Assessor's Office, I feel it is important to build trust in the office, not only with the fine people working there, but with the system overall and how assessments are made. I spent the majority of 2019 out assessing property and meeting with citizens of the county, and finding out that a lot of people do not realize all that goes into coming up with the assessed values of various structures.
I believe I am qualified for the assessor position, having worked in the office in different capacities as well as serving as interim assessor during the recent time of upheaval following the resignation of the previously elected assessor. I spent the better part of a year traveling throughout Moniteau County reviewing properties and ensuring the office had the most up-to-date information to arrive at accurate assessments of land and structures. I am also well-versed in the specialized software utilized by the Assessor's Office to come up with the assessed values of real estate and personal property.
What I feel is the most important issue in the Assessor's Office, besides working to regain the trust of the county's residents, is working to get fair and equitable assessments for all county residents. Some areas of the county have not had house/property values reviewed for several years; land values that should be the same from property to property are not due to insufficient reviews. Houses depreciate over time, leading to lower tax assessments, while land values continue to increase; these values must be entered into the software program manually and over time some have been changed while others have not.
In leadership positions, I have been active in the community serving as past chairperson of the Moniteau County University Extension Council, past officer of the local GL P.E.O Chapter, past board member of St. Paul's Evangelical Church and current Sunday School Secretary. Professionally, I was elected as a Regional Representative for the National Association for State Community Services Programs, Area Council Person and Area Director for the Soil and Water Conservation Society, Show-Me Chapter. I was selected as a Missouri Department of Natural Resources Employee of the Month, and our family was selected as the 2013 Moniteau County State Fair Farm Family. In addition, I have been a Moniteau County Relay for Life team member since 2003, a project leader in the Moniteau County Busy Bee 4-H Chapter, and volunteered at many school activities.
I graduated from the University of Central Missouri with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture Technology/Animal Science in 1989. I recently retired from the State of Missouri after nearly 29 years of employment. I helped to administer both state and federal programs and have extensive experience in budgeting, tracking funding, program monitoring and implementing policies and procedures on a state-wide and local level.
I was honored to be appointed by Gov. Mike Parson as the current Moniteau County Assessor. I was sworn into office by Judge Aaron Martin on March 25, 2020. My goals for the office include customer service, community building and integrity in all that I do.
Since taking office, I am proud of the accomplishments that have been made in the last three and half months. Throughout the COVID-19 shutdown, the Assessor's Office remained staffed and helped customers by phone, email and faxes. To better serve the needs of the community, the office is now open over the noon hour so those that have limited time can conduct business over their lunch period. I am also excited to share that our office is now providing a free Geographic Information System (GIS) log-in from our website at moniteaucountyassessor.com. This provides the public an aerial view of land parcels in the county with different layers of information that can be overlaid to the map. Our office is also reviewing each personal property and real estate record to add physical addresses to our database. With this information, we are ensuring the correct tax levies are being applied to each record. Also, additional processes and procedures have been implemented to provide increased internal controls and better oversight and transparency.
I am proud to call Moniteau County my home for the past 30 years. My husband, Mark Oerly, is a veterinarian serving the area for over 32 years, and his family have been Moniteau County residents for generations. Mark and I have raised our two children, Rachel (Oerly) Brickey and Matt Oerly on our small cattle farm just north of California. Rachel is an elementary school teacher in northwest Missouri, where she lives with her husband, Nathan. Matt is currently a third-year student at the University of Missouri's College of Veterinary Medicine.
It is my honor and privilege to be serving the citizens of Moniteau County and would sincerely appreciate your support and vote on Aug. 4.