“I am running again for the same reasons as before, but this time with specific, measurable data as to why the Assessor’s Office is ready for a change in leadership. The numbers show that voters did not get their pick for Assessor in ’22. We had a crowded race of four candidates with 61.8 % of voters casting ballots against the incumbent Assessor” Buchannon said. “I think the county was sending a message wanting change.”
Buchannon stated she heard from multiple citizens who were upset when they received an astonishingly high Assessment Change Notice less than one week after they cast their vote for Assessor.
CNF research confirmed that a mass reappraisal by the Assessor’s Office was conducted in 2022. County property owners were hit with ‘sticker shock’ when they received Assessment Change Notices following the election showing a substantial increase in their property values- up to 45% higher.
Buchannon further stated, based on a public records request from the Cumberland County Human Resources Department, “the Assessor’s office has a 109% staff turnover rate since July of 2021 when the current Assessor was appointed–losing 12 employees out of only 11 positions in the office, either by resignation or termination.” Buchannon said “a high turnover rate can have many negative effects including budget increases in training new workers, (The Assessor of Property annual budget jumped $146,803 since 2021), low morale and a higher potential for inaccurate computations of assessments for property owners.
When asked what her plans are should she become the next Assessor, she told us “My goals are still to work for the people of Cumberland County, and to keep the team members in the Assessor’s office learning, growing, and enjoying their jobs. For property owners, this means less money spent for the office to train new employees, improved service, and fair, and transparent assessing. My hope for the Assessor’s office is that there are no more surprises, meaning we are committed to keeping the public informed, and offering education regarding assessment processes. I am confident that my work ethic, and business and leadership experience is the necessary piece of the puzzle to take the Assessor’s office to the level of excellence our people deserve.
Kelli is the Founder and CEO of Grace Givers Home Care LLC, established a little over six years ago. Her company currently employees over 30 individuals, and she has over a decade of leadership, human resources and management background. She was appointed to the Cumberland County Regional Planning Commission in 2022, and is a 2023 graduate from the University of Phoenix with an Associate of Arts Degree in Business Fundamentals. She serves as an Executive Committee Member of Cumberland County Republican Party, Vice President of the Republican Women’s Club, and is active in many other local organizations.
Buchannon told us, “I built my business on the belief that I was capable of making positive change in an area that needed it, and my belief for why I should run for Assessor is no different. From day one of starting my company, I began putting processes in place to allow my team to grow and develop, and have had a very capable leadership team in place to handle day-to-day operations for quite some time. This has allowed me the time to further my education, participate in community organizations, and seek out new challenges. I believe that it is essential that our elected officials are physically present in their offices, and I am fully capable of giving the position the full time hours it requires to be successful.”
Early voting for the March Republican Primary is February 14th – 27th. Election day is March 5th 2024