If the Assessors Office needs to cut expenses this is how I would cut the expenses.
The predicament which the King County Assessors Office is currently facing is the Assessor is a new assessor and coming into the Office. Skills from other areas will be carried forward but to have to cut a budget prior to taking office is a new one. Traditionally is the Chief Operating Position or CEO position a new executive does get the privilege of looking at products, personnel, marketing, finances, etc. for a two or three month period of time. During this time assessments and what needs to be done are assembled. Then after that period of time, personnel, marketing or product mix have been evaluated and cuts are made. The axe falls quickly and swiftly but there is a time whereby a true assessment of the company mix can be accumalated and formulated for a more refined mix of all types of company assets.
Mr. Lloyd Hara is not being given this luxury so what I sat down and did was formulated some of my own thought which I believe Mr. Hara may want to consider but these would only be somethings which may want to be considered. In no way would I require these to be mandatory but rather only suggestions. I always have health that ideas can amount to about twenty or so and then maybe one, two, or three of those ideas may be actually sound enough to be considered. Again, I have not seen the books of what needs to be done nor have I had a tour of the operations nor have I even had an education course on the art science of appraising. I have taken a real estate class and a mortgage processing class however. These are completely and utterly different from the process of assessment however.
I do wish Mr. Lloyd Hara his best efforts in being able to cut his budget and wish his best efforts in its refinement. I do not in the remotest know his efforts will be painless. Without being able to know what was at stake how can one know what can be eliminated. Again, I would however, try to see if production standards can be increased by capital improvements. Capital improvements do cost money but cuts in manpower are the greatest saver of expenses and the replacement of manpower can be and easily be replaced by equipment which makes the personnel more productive. An easier process through the use of equipment is also the road to a happier workplace.
Here are some of my ideas on what could possibly be considered to reduce or replace man-hours in the King County Assessors Office.
1) If the people walk from one location to another then time could be reduced if the distance of time is reduced from one location to the next.
a) You may need to get those same travel machines which the parking enforcement has.
b) Or you could get completely electric vehicles so no fuel is being used whatsoever. The engines would not be being idle all day long. Found this at the car show this last weekend. The greening of America should be coming out of the county budget as an extra. If man-hours can be diminished via this method then the task could take less time. I would experiment with one vehicle or two and then see if the appraisers get more done or how much less the cost of maintenance is. That has to be one of your largest expenses also is the cost of fuel.
MC Electric Vehicles
1200 South Dearborn Street
Seattle, WA 98144
I told a CEO and Chairman of the 1400 largest U.S.A. company that different companies have different equipment due to the size of the operations. A smaller company will be people intensive and rely upon machinery which is less costly but more people intensive. This is because capital is more scarce for the smaller business. This way the small company would be able to compete with the larger company which has to rely upon larger more costly equipment. The capital intensity give more profit but the working man hours are less and thus the workers are more productive.
2) The other way would be to find out if instead of an assessment once every six years is if the assessment can be made once every seven or eight years. I would assume this is being set by statute at the present time. Petition the legislature next year for this change. Or ask the King County Council to do this. This is spreading the budget by reducing the work load.
3) If you are being charged for work space in a downtown building can you lease or get another office throughout King County where the appraisers could be stationed. Perhaps if appraisals are happening in say the south end of the County get a one year lease and offices and equipment would be located in a temporary one year office. Citizens could or should also be able to get hearings in that office space as well. This would be centrally located for the benefit of the appraisers and centrally located for citizens until that areas appraisals are completed. Another location for one or two years could be lease in another area. I also know that Mastro Properties has some vacant property which could be leased and probably for a great price. I have Mr. Mastro’s personal number in my car or could get this quickly if needed.
4) The other way to do this is lease properties in different parts of the county. A separation or smaller area each year would be appraised. Thus you could have four different smaller areas. This and hte above would reduce on the commuting of appraisers and they would have a better more defined area which they would be working from. I mean you could even sub-divide this down to where two or three appraisers work out of an office and then the office is closed and moved. I would not think that the paperwork would have to be submitted but once a week to the downtown office. Someone could either pick this up as a courier or the appraisers could hand deliver the paperwork to someone downtown. Or you could have a downtown processing center for this object.