Strategize for success
Strategy 1: Streamline & Stay Flexible
We've all been there. We do our due diligence by visiting the website only to see a page that is overwhelming with information. It's enough to deter anybody and cause them to stop their efforts. Less is more.
In the case of the Assessor's Office, there needs to be a rethinking of our production process because it will directly impact service to the public. That process includes, but is not limited to, what documents we need to process for new construction, how we process new transfers, and how the assessor manages homeowner contact.
The first strategy is to streamline our efforts with an eye toward what works today and what will work tomorrow. Time's change and we all must stay flexible in our pursuit of excellence; this means incorporating modern technology when needed, recognizing when a new tool doesn't work. Yes, the bloated website needs to go too.
Strategy 2: Do the Work Today, Save on Work Tomorrow
There are a number of reasons why errors are made. These errors lead to phone calls regarding tax bills, erroneous assessments and over-assessments; there is value in the time lost to fielding those calls and making corrections. There is also time lost during the initial assessment which I consider a wasted effort. Additionally, many homeowners contact us because instructions on our forms are unclear - this naturally produces some apprehension among individuals because property tax is not something you want problems with down the road! There are many other such examples that are simply too small for government to look into (it's not important enough, you see). I want to change that.
Knowledeable staff and I will find solutions that will better close the gap on unforced errors. I believe such an effort may stem the subsequent work load which means our workers will have time enough to focus on individual properties and outreach. I believe this may also provide peace of mind for the homeowner.
Strategy 3: Increase Inter-Agency Cooperation
There is opportunity for growth in this area. Many of the inter-agency communications are still conducted on paper. This means that there is time wasted in organizing, printing/copying, and delivering documents to other agencies (Building & Safety, Assessment Appeals Board, etc.). Additionally, there is a hard cost in receiving, maintaining, and disposing of such documents. One could argue that there is an environmental cost as well.
I will reach out to other organizations to cooridnate a new, acceptable methodology that would assist in our efforts toward a more responsive, accountable, and greener work flow.
Strategy 4: Better Hiring, Promotions, and Retention
These factors affect the homeowner because it takes time to train and even more time to become experienced enough to provide an excellent work product. Hiring sprees by government offices take a lot of effort and the best candidates are not always hired.
It all begins with hiring the right people and retaining them. A natural way to lure new hires and improve retention is to promote a better work/life balance by offering remote work. Remote work has the added benefits of reducing reliance on fossil fuels at a time when gas prices are high (savings), reducing emissions (air quality), reducing traffic (which helps everybody), reducing mileage paid to staff (savings) and reducing the need for office space (savings). Unfortunately, the current administration is attempting to bring all staff back to the office in spite of these benefits.
A way of retaining those hires is to implement an advancement process that is better able to value the characteristics of employees that align with the new vision of the office; a vision of improved service through initiative, flexibility and innovation. Otherwise, you'll just end up with an administration that becomes comfortable with the status quo. That's bad for business.