Newly elected Lewis County Assessor, John Breen, has significant changes happening in his office and plans to strive to make the office run more efficiently.
Breen spoke to the Weston Rotary about the different changes that he and his staff are implementing at the Assessor’s Office in coming months.
Breen was raised in Philadelphia, but moved in with his grandparents, while in high school, because he didn’t like things happening in the school systems in Philadelphia.
When he was 17 years old, he was offered a position at WDTV, and remained there for 34 years.
He was approached by a group, who wanted him to run for a public office, while hesitant at first, Breen jumped on the campaign trail, with his wife, Jaimie, by his side.
“The reason we did it, is our love for Lewis County,” said Breen, “the citizens needed someone who would hit the ground rolling.”
In the next six months, the assessor’s office, plans to have assessments online. Online you will be able to make changes on the website, then submit the change, and you will receive a confirmation.
“This will cut down on foot traffic in and out of the assessor’s office,” said Breen.
The office will be doing training on the online services and then it will be rolled out to the public, but you can still go to the office and get assistance in person.
Breen’s next plan is to help educate the tax payer on the forms from the assessors office, by holding some public evening meetings at local fire departments.
Also online mapping will be a future aspiration for the assessor’s office too. This will benefit everyone, including oil and gas industries.
Breen did warn that some of the property lines on the online mapping is a little construed and may look like a property line going through a building.
Breen also has hired two new employees, one of which was from the County Clerks Office. Breen said that this was a decision that would benefit both offices because the employee from the clerk’s office would know the inter-workings of both offices and may help the offices work together more cohesively.
Breen will also be implementing a safety buzzer in the office, for employee safety as well as, privacy reasons.
“We want to be transparent to the public,” said Breen.
The next meeting of the Weston Rotary will be held on Wednesday, March 1, at noon, at Giovanni’s, anyone is welcome to attend.