by Valerie Verkamp
On Nov. 6, voters will decided between David Cox and David Christian for Platte County Assessor.
David Christian, who currently holds the office of Platte County Assessor, says he has managed the assessor's office in a “professional, businesslike manner” ever since his April 2011 appointment.
Christian, a Democrat, was appointed to the post following the March 2011 death of former assessor Lisa Pope.
In addition to the assessor himself, the Platte County Assessor's Office operates with a staff of 15 employees including, five licensed real estate appraisers, five personal property appraisers, and two DIS mapping experts.
“We are independent of any special interest group or any political faction,” said Christian. “Everyone is going to be treated equally and we think that is really the only way to do it. There's not a Democratic or Republican way to assess property. It's just a matter of doing the job professionally.”
While assessor of Platte County, Christian said his greatest accomplishment has been finishing 2011 under budget by operating the office in a businesslike fashion, enabling the office to run more effectively.
He also credits his staff for strong customer service skills and providing a better service to the public.
Christian says the biggest challenge his office faces is trying to accomplish all of the office's required functions with limited resources.
“We have a much bigger challenge because of the turmoil of the real estate market, which seems to be picking up” speed, he said.
The assessor's office is currently updating all real property assessments in the county and adjusting values to the current market conditions.
“To try to do that in a way that is fair to all the citizens in every part of the county, and meet all of the state requirements is a major effort due to the condition of the market for the last few years,” he said.
Christian, who is a widower, has four adult children and 11 grandchildren.
Prior to taking over the reigns in the assessor's office, Christian worked as the manager of government affairs for KCP&L, where he worked for 23 years before retiring in April 2011.
He also practiced law, representing small businesses in both Clay and Platte County for more than a decade.
Christian also served the public as a state representative for six years beginning in 1977.
David Cox, Christian’s Republican opponent in the Nov. 6 general election, says he doesn't believe home values are being fairly and accurately appraised.
Cox has worked as a real estate investor for 30 years and has been a licensed real estate broker for eight years. He says his experience in real estate has given him insight into how to fairly value homes.
Cox said he is seeking the position of assessor to “help government become more efficient…I think that we need an effectively-managed office that has a knowledgeable and trained staff that can answer questions honestly and with enthusiasm.”
Cox says he believes in effective customer service and claims that the level of customer service currently provided by the assessor's office could “greatly be improved.”
If elected, Cox says he will ensure taxpayers will be treated courteously and honestly.
“I believe Platte County deserves to hear the whole truth about what is going on,” said Cox. “I want to communicate effectively with local governments and school districts and keep them abreast of trends.”
The assessor impacts every property owner in the county, he says.
“It's important for people to understand that in county office we need a good foundation in government, and I think I would add to that foundation and make it stronger. It is just like building a house, if the foundation isn't good then the rest of it isn't any good, so we need strong, stable, enthusiastic leaders to make improvements to the county's future,” said Cox.
David and his wife, Jacque, have been married for 32 years and have three children. Their oldest son, Austin, is serving in the U.S Army, their middle child, Jonathan, operates a small business, and their youngest child Jordan is a student at Park Hill South High School.
Cox briefly served on the Park Hill Board of Education. The Cox family has lived in Platte County for 25 years.
Cox says he anticipates a tight race, but firmly believes he is the most qualified candidate for Platte County Assessor.
“ I think Platte County desires the best and the brightest,” he said.