Thursday, 02 February 2023

Lee: A problem under every rock

As the election process winds to a close, I appreciate the opportunity to thank everyone who encouraged and supported my campaign and took the time to hear me out. I also want to thank the media and all the groups who provided a forum for candidates to present their best case to earn your votes.

Since deciding to run for assessor-recorder, I have met literally hundreds of Lake County residents who care about the future of our community and deserve the best treatment and service possible.

I have promised to bring the office into the 21st century through automation, to eliminate backlogs and the log jams that create unnecessary delays and to improve the business climate in Lake County, not chase business away.

I have also promised accountability and much improved communication, transparency and service. The details are on my website,

In my campaign, I’ve talked about unrealized revenues to the county’s general fund, fire districts, and school districts due to backlogs and property assessment methods that are driving businesses away. And I’ve pointed out that office modernization is long overdue.

I’ve pushed the idea that new leadership is needed to bring about change. And I’ve stated that eight years is long enough to have addressed the problems that persist to this day under the current assessor-recorder, Mr. Ford.

It does seem under every rock lies another problem.

Recently I discovered that Lake County residents who lost their homes in the Valley, Clayton and Dam fires are still being taxed at the same rate as when their homes and other structures were standing. This is unacceptable. I immediately searched for solutions. I believe I found a blueprint that we can use as a template for Lake County moving forward to prevent this from happening to future survivors of fire and other catastrophic events.

I also learned that hundreds of property owners received surprise changes to their property lines which, in some cases, disqualified them from participating in some types of business. The reason? The assessor-recorder used an information system not designed for the purpose of determining property line delineations. This problem could have been avoided.

More than ever, I am convinced the time for change is now. But why me?

For starters I’m used to being held accountable to the courts when I represent one of 80-plus conservatees under my charge. I’m used to managing individual budgets ranging from $1,000 to a little over $1,000,000 and I’m used to making life and death decisions. Being accountable to the people of Lake County will be an easy transition.

I’m a problem solver who understands that the role of a service provider — as all elected government officials are — is to serve people and to do that efficiently the internal workings of an operation must work.

People say I find ticking time bombs and diffuse them; they say, “if anyone can fix a problem, Hannah can.” As a kid, I was the one others came to for advice or to help them solve a problem.

It’s no surprise that my first job for the county was as an analyst — that’s the person managers come to when they need help improving internal operations and solving problems. This involves getting to the root cause of problems and finding the best practices and solutions.

To this end, sometimes the answers lie in automation, removing redundancies, adjusting policies and sometimes, examining legislation and working with teams to advocate for the right legal remedies. I cut my teeth on this type of work.

My background is diverse. I offer a balance — a strong financial foundation with a strong service orientation. I understand the regulatory aspects of the job; I also see the need for a more human-centric approach in the office of assessor-recorder.

And I particularly understand that Lake County should be at least parallel to other counties with the same responsibilities and problems. We’re not, I aim to change that.

To be clear, I am not in any way intimidated by the technical aspects of the job — which the incumbent suggests are hard to explain, the skills hard to obtain and the tests hard to pass.

School has always come easy to me. I’m educated with degrees in business management and psychology, business administration and tax preparation. I’m also certificated in basic and advanced accounting and taxes. In short, I’m ready to take on the job should you see fit to elect me.

Again, I thank you for allowing me one last opportunity to earn your vote. If elected, day one, I will open my door to you, be accountable to you, and get to work for you. Because the status quo is not acceptable and because Lake County will do better under new leadership.

On June 7, I humbly ask for your vote.

Hannah Faith Lee is running for assessor-recording of Lake County, California. She lives in Kelseyville.

Upcoming Calendar

02.02.2023 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Clearlake City Council
02.07.2023 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Area Agency on Aging
02.08.2023 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
100+ Women Strong in Lake County
02.09.2023 7:30 am - 8:30 am
Rotary Club of Middletown
02.11.2023 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Ladies of the Lake Quilt Guild
02.12.2023 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Ladies of the Lake Quilt Guild
Valentine's Day
02.16.2023 7:30 am - 8:30 am
Rotary Club of Middletown

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