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Write-in candidate challenging Lisa Pope

by Kim Fickett
Landmark reporter

According to write-in candidate Larry Gardner, he wants to bring fairness to the assessor’s office.

“I decided to enter the assessor's race because I was looking for a job that would require fairness as a
primary requirement, and this is the place where fairness is always an issue,” said Gardner.

Gardner has business ownership and management experience operating a restaurant, coffee shop and a Merry Maids Franchise. He also worked as a realtor for several years.

“The knowledge gained as a realtor gives me the basis for property appraisal and assessment,” explained Gardner.

If elected to office, Gardner hopes to create a greater communication with the community, have an Inter Agency cooperation city the city and county, and emphasize employee fairness in the office.

“I would hope if elected I could help better inform taxpayers of all aspects of the assessor's responsibilities.”

Larry and his wife Farra have been married for 35 years, and have raised two children. They moved to Platte City three years ago, but lived in Kansas City for several years. His career spans 42 years with the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad as a conductor.

Gardner has gained leadership skills by representing members of The United Transportation Union as local chairman. He also served as secretary and treasurer.

Gardner attended Northeast Missouri State (Truman), and is a Vietnam era veteran.

According to Gardner, the number one thing for voters to remember is to utilize their freedoms.

“I would just like for everyone to vote in the November 2nd election, we have a great country and should vote to protect every one of our freedoms,” said Gardner.

Challenging Gardner is 48-year-old Lisa Pope, who has worked in the assessor’s office since the age of 19.

Pope, a Republican, has worked for the last three assessors, as well as at an office in Mesa County, Colorado. She has served as the Platte County chief deputy assessor for the last 13-years.

According to Pope when current Platte County Assessor Chris McQuitty decided to step down from office, she made the decision to take the next step.

“I’ve been in the office for the last 15-years and when McQuitty decided not to run, I decided it was time to step up,” said Pope.

She is bringing many goals for the office along with her.

If elected Pope, carries the goal of making the assessor’s office public records available to the citizens via the Internet.

“I want to let the citizens of Platte County know more about what’s going on,” said Pope. “We still have to abide by state laws, but I want the office to be more public friendly.”

For Pope accessibility to the public is a key issue.

“I want everybody to feel like they can come in and talk to me.”

Pope also stated she wants to keep updating the computer system, have the employees continue their education, and purchase better software for the GIS system (which prepares the maps for county development).

Pope, now a resident of Dearborn, was raised in the southern portion of Platte County and graduated from Park Hill High School.




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