Things you should Know
Submitted by FairAssessments on August 3, 2012 - 6:40am.
A quick note this morning before I head out to finish picking up signs –
Thank you Roane County voters! I will give my all to ensure the Property
I will need help. As I’ve stated since the beginning, I will be talking with everyone in the office who is willing to work with me about continuing their service. I need good staff. I am very hopeful for a smooth, clean transition from the current Property Assessor.
Within the next 5 days I will be sending a letter to the current Property Assessor outlining my proposed transition plan so we can have a seamless changeover. The plan will outline my introductory meeting with the staff and the schedule for the one-on-one discussions about their intentions to continue working in the office under my leadership.
I am disappointed that a couple of the current employees have already indicated that they are not willing to continue their service. No matter the decision, I do expect those who feel that they cannot work under my leadership to conduct themselves professionally during this transition. We owe the people of Roane County a professional transition; as such any unprofessional actions or antics will not be tolerated.
Together we can have a great Office that is focused on fair property assessments for Roane County!
I am off to pick up signs, but in closing, I thank those who supported me, however, I pledge to "everyone" that I will run the office fairly for "all" of Roane County, including my employees.
Plenty of work to do...
David, Property Assessor-elect
Submitted by FairAssessments on July 31, 2012 - 8:16pm.
To All of Roane County:
My journey to the Property Assessor’s Office began on a cold rainy day in Midtown, Tennessee. This is where I spent some of the happiest years of my life as a child, and I’ll never forget the bonds of friendship I made there. It was December 2011, and with my first petition to run for office in hand, I didn’t really know where to start. I decided to follow my roots, and ended up at the McNelly house where I’d spent so much of my time as a kid growing up. The McNellys welcomed me with open arms as always, and encouraged me that I was doing the right thing by running for this office. I spent the next day or two just seeing old friends and parents of friends in that area, and received an overwhelming amount of support from them, as well as other new friends.
Being a first time candidate, I knew I had much to learn about the pros and cons of politics. Boy was I in for a surprise! It wasn’t long before I was introduced to what I like to call “gutter politics”. It’s a sad day when your own neighbors resort to giving daily reports to the opponent about anything from when you leave and come home each day, to whom visits your house, and other details only neighbors would know about someone. During this campaign I’ve learned who my true friends are, and who I can count on when I need help or advice. I’ve also lost a few friends who feel that politics comes before friendship.
Throughout the campaign I have stressed the fact that I have run a clean campaign based on Christian values and beliefs. Well, I am very proud to say that I am still running a clean campaign regardless of the “gutter politics” and negative personal attacks on me by my opponent. I’ve gotten calls, emails, and face-to-face messages from people around Roane County telling me how much they appreciate me staying positive and remaining focused on the issues. The issues are unfair property assessments and unfair property taxes based on those unfair assessments, and I’ve stated that since the beginning of my campaign. I’ve also stated that as long as the current Property Assessor’s staff is willing to work with me, and do what’s right for the people of Roane County, they will remain employed.
For the ones who had the opportunity to witness the debates, you know that I showed up for all of them. You also know that I had a strong amount of support at those, as evidenced by the amount of applause received at the end. For those who have had the chance to meet me personally at my ice cream socials or other places that I’ve campaigned, you know what David Morgan stands for by now.
In closing, I want the people of Roane County to remember back in 2010, when you first saw your reappraisal notice. With property values declining across the United States, how can values for little ole Roane County go up 30%, 40%, 50%, or more? Did everyone forget that we also had one of the worst environmental disasters in history just a few months prior to the reappraisals? You were probably thinking, how can our property assessments go up in Roane County after this horrible economy and this major disaster? I feel your pain Roane County, and I am humbly asking for your vote on August 2.
It's time for a change.
Submitted by FairAssessments on July 31, 2012 - 7:53am.
As a candidate for public office, I expect a fair election; just as you do - as voters. The Knoxville News Sentinel ran a story today about Teresa Kirkham engaging voters directly across the hall from the Election Commission’s office. Link...
As usual, the courthouse was an early voting location. Let me first say that I support an open door policy in government and also realize that official courthouse business has to carry on. However, Ms. Kirkham’s actions and statements, during an election, are not related to official Property Assessor business, instead her statements were campaign related by saying "remember me", "don't forget me", etc. The Election Commission received complaints similar to the numerous calls that I received. In the KNS article it states - “Charles Holiway, the county's administrator of elections, said his office "had a couple of complaints" about Kirkham campaigning from her office, but no formal written complaints were filed.”
Even though this appears to be a violation of election law all I want is for Ms. Kirkham to comply with the requirements as I have. I don't want her in trouble; I just want her to give the people of Roane County a fair election. The law institutes the 100 foot boundary requirement in T.C.A. 2-7-111(b)(1). It is the opinion of the State of Tennessee Coordinator of Elections that “the display of” actually means showing or making something public within the 100-foot boundary and that “Solicitation of votes” includes all verbal and non-verbal campaign or politicking. It appears evident that Ms. Kirkham’ actions of attempting to engage passer-by voters with her statements is not official Property Assessor business, therefore, it appears to be campaigning within the boundary.
I have Poll Watchers working on Election Day and I am also counting on those in charge of the election to be watching too. The democracy of this Country is rooted in fair elections. I, along with the residents of Roane County expect a fair election. I want to know that I either won or lost within the rules. I don't want any doubt about the election results because of Ms. Kirkham's actions.
In response to Rebecca Shaw-Wells concern regarding my December 2011 campaign disclosure - it is unfortunate when a neighbor, who is campaigning for your opponent, turns over private internal organizational records for political gain. As a matter of clarification, I do not receive income for serving as President of the Association, as the by-laws waive those fees. In a separate function, I maintain the Associations books for which I receive $125/quarter, but not as an accountant as I am not one. Ms. Shaw-Wells knows this is the fact as she is also an officer with the Association. She has a legal fiduciary responsibility to the Association in relation to our internal business, not to my opponent. I am confident that I am in full compliance and see this for what it is.
I, along with the residents of Roane County expect a fair election. We are way overdue for a change in Roane County, please vote this Thursday.
Submitted by FairAssessments on July 11, 2012 - 9:14pm.
The David Morgan for Property Assessor TV commercial can be watched on Youtube at Link...
Submitted by FairAssessments on July 6, 2012 - 12:10am.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Teresa Kirkham’s assessments are 30% higher than they should be — through her own admission during recent debates.
The State said about 8 counties have their own models/computer systems with the rest using the State's system as Teresa Kirkham has decided. The State said the elected Property Assessor is responsible for their own assessments. Teresa argues the State is responsible for her high assessments, but that is not ture. The Property Assessor is responsible even if they use the State's model/system. Each county has the flexibility to use their own or simply default to using the State's system. At a recent debate, a staged Teresa Kirkham's supporter stated that using a model like the one that I have described (Link...) would be illegal. This is untrue and meant to confuse the public. Teresa often blames the State. The State clearly said the elected-Property Assessor is responsible for their assessments. The key is the fair market value.
During the debates, Teresa was also asked about her staff campaigning for her while on offical business re-assessing people's homes. She tried to deny it. She then stated that the home owner must have mentioned the election first - which was not the case. Her clarification was that her employees could openly talk about her re-election campaign after the home owner mentions the election first. She then defaulted to the position that her Appraiser was part-time, so it was fine if they campaigned on the taxpayer's dollar. I disagree. I have already pledged to not use the Office's staff for campaigning (Link...). This is better for everyone - the employees and the public.
Attached is my recently published comparison matrix of Property Assessor issues from the recent debates (Link...).
It's time for a change. I ask for you to stand with me.
P.S. - I promise to stand strong against Teresa's current and future attacks. Roane County deserves fair assessments.
David Morgan for Roane County Property Assessor
Submitted by FairAssessments on July 1, 2012 - 7:57pm.
Dear Friends and Supporters,
I have run a very positive campaign. My campaign has remained focused on the issues and my qualifications for the office. Competing against a powerful incumbent is a huge task. Over the course of the campaign, I have raised several thousand dollars from everyday small donors who share the belief in my platform of fair assessments. Surprisingly, the amount that I have raised is significantly more than the incumbent reported on her 1st Quarter campaign disclosure. I have worked hard to intelligently spend those critical donations in order to get my message out; however I still have much work to do, and I need your help to finish the job.
As I write you this letter, early voting is only 13 days away. With that said, I would like to thank every person who has already contributed to my campaign. I am humbled by your support of me, a first-time candidate for office. Your donations have helped fuel the campaign from the very beginning to achieve our very competitive position. A recent poll has me up 20 points over Teresa Kirkham (59% Morgan, 37% Kirkham, 3% Robinette).
Like you, I know that we cannot become complacent. We all know that Teresa Kirkham is gearing up for her advertising campaign. We know she is willing to spend whatever it takes to fight for re-election, and we know—through her own admission—that her assessments are 30% higher than they should be. I am committed to standing strong for the people of Roane County; however, I will need your help to match her deep pockets and those of her allies who have become entrenched through 20 years of political favors. Teresa’s favorite campaign phrase is, “I’ve been good to you, haven’t I?” It is my belief that the Roane County Property Assessor should be fair to everyone, not just good to her supporters.
It’s time for change. I am counting on your help. This week I need donations of $100, $25 or even $5 to keep the positive momentum going. Together we can win back the Property Assessor’s office for the people of Roane County. I strongly believe that Roane County is in need of fair property assessments, and I am fully committed for that to be my primary objective once in office.
Please send all donations to: David Morgan for Property Assessor, 102 Village Trace Unit 11, Kingston, TN 37763. You can also give me a call at 376-9453, and I’ll be glad to come by and see you.
Thank you in advance for your continued support. I encourage you to forward this email to your friends, neighbors and family members. Time is critical and victory is within reach.
David Morgan for Roane County Property Assessor
Submitted by FairAssessments on June 20, 2012 - 8:32am.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
As a candidate for Property Assessor, I pledge that I will not ask, require or mandate any of the department’s employees to campaign on my behalf.
I truly believe this new policy will be in the best interest of both the tax payers and the department’s employees. I will respect each employee’s individual freedom to support which ever candidate they so choose. I will ensure discussions within the office is focused squarely on the work at hand, not the election; thereby providing a wall between politics and their individual choice. This wall will allow department employees to vote for whomever they chose by ensuring an environment free of retaliation.
It is my strong belief that the department’s employees must stay focused on their duties. I understand that they are funded by taxpayers and owe the taxpayers their full effort. I believe that carrying out the Office’s duties professionally is highly critical in ensuring the fair assessments that my campaign is all about. It is my belief that any distractions from those duties during the election cycle become a disservice to the sworn oath of the Property Assessor.
As a personal commitment, I pledge to keep my future political races separate from my duties, both while on official business in the courthouse and out in the community. I will continually reassure the department’s employees that by focusing on the work at hand, future political elections will not impact the department’s business and should result in consistent and professional staffing.
I believe the policies laid out above will be in the best interest of both the tax payers and the department’s employees.
As I have publically stated numerous times, I strongly believe the current office includes many good people and employees. I look forward to discussing with each of them their desire to continue working under my leadership. As I have also stated, I commit to being their partner by ensuring they have the proper training and qualifications to meet my pledge of fair assessments for everyone. Please understand, the prior statement is not saying in any way that I don’t believe the staff lacks training right now, but I am instead saying that I need to assess that as I believe we can have improved training as a way to continually do the best we can for Roane County.
In closing, I will run my office professionally without infusing politics into its daily operations. I look forward to being your next Property Assessor. I hope Roane County looks forward to the change I will bring.
It's time for a change.
Submitted by FairAssessments on June 11, 2012 - 9:18pm.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
My short answer is this: “I will use real market data, including both the positive and negative sales. The incumbent Assessor does not use this data as she should. I will use real world sales data that coincide with Roane County’s actual real estate economy.”
Basically, Teresa Kirkham has driven assessments artificially high by not including the real data.
As your next Property Assessor, I will correct this. I will include external obsolescence, short sale and foreclosure data into the comparable sales, plus I will calculate the absorption rate and housing supply as I develop an economically sound model. The incumbent Assessor doesn’t; in fact, she is primarily using only the "positive data" while ignoring the lower sales data. This is not an economic reality and it should not be happening. Her assessment methods simply end up driving Roane County’s assessments higher and higher over time. We know the reality: this economy has been horrible. Roane County needs someone in the Property Assessor’s office who can relate to the real world economy. We need someone who will use the real data to ensure fair property assessments. As your next Property Assessor, I will do that.
I am running for Property Assessor because the current assessments are unfair. It is my strong belief that many of Ms. Kirkham’s assessments are grossly inflated. Conversely, it is my driving principle to achieve fair property assessments for everyone in Roane County. I understand that fair property assessments = fairer property taxes paid. Every day, I have people tell me that they could not sell their property for the inflated assessed value provided by Ms. Kirkham’s office. This is not fair, and people are hurting.
Lest we forget, Roane County had one of the worst environmental disasters in history right here in our backyard – the TVA ash spill. The incumbent Assessor made no adjustments whatsoever to account for the economic impact. Ms. Kirkham may have forgotten—but I have not forgotten, and I believe voters in Roane County will not forget.
These are just a couple of the differences between Teresa Kirkham’s and my professional philosophies regarding fair assessment. I am certain that once all the economic data are properly factored into the equation, it will help bring the assessed values and current real estate market closer together.
In closing, Ms. Kirkham continues to say that she has no control over the assessments in Roane County. She incorrectly cites the misconception that the State mandates exactly how her office must conduct the assessments and re-assessment. This is just not the reality. As your next Property Assessor, I will use sound assessment principles. I will take responsibility for the Assessor’s Office, and I will not blame others for unjustly driving up the values on our taxpayers.
I ask for your vote as we fight together for fair property assessments for Roane County.
It's time for a change.
Submitted by FairAssessments on May 30, 2012 - 8:35pm.
Today's endorsement seems to have shaken up the incumbent. I have been told today that Teresa is preparing more attacks on me of a personal nature. Every day it is becoming clearer and clearer that voters are starting to see through Teresa’s old political tactics and they do not like it. I will remain strong for the betterment of Roane County, as together; we turn the page for “change”. I will not let Teresa pull me into her ugly gutter politics. I am asking for everyone to stand with me against old political maneuvers that only benefit the status quo. I am focused on the issues.
It's time for a change.
Submitted by FairAssessments on May 27, 2012 - 8:00pm.
In Saturday’s Knoxville News Sentinel article by Bob Fowler, Roane candidates swap barbs in property assessor's race the reporter states - “Already, Property Assessor Teresa Kirkham and one challenger in the Aug. 2 election, David Morgan, have traded accusations.” The article reports on the voter intimidation charges against Teresa Kirkham. Readers of the article might think the barbs are a new development, as it didn’t point out the repeating trend of bards coming from the Teresa Kirkham campaign.
As a point of clarification, the stark difference is the fact that David Morgan’s charges are grounded in protecting voters from political intimidation, which is campaign related. Teresa Kirkham’s accusations are instead more gutter politics of an ugly personal nature which are not campaign related. The Teresa Kirkham campaign continues the mudslinging - it’s plain and simple.
Teresa has already been successful in getting the Roane County News to run negative stories on three of her opponents. With this new KNS article and interest growing outside of Roane County by the media; it seems pretty obvious that Teresa Kirkham’s re-election strategy has been to take out her opponents early in the race. Her strategy relies on old political maneuvers instead of focusing on the real issues of job performance and qualifications that are important for the future of Roane County. The Morgan campaign has observed that voters are starting to see through Teresa’s old political tactics and they are not liking it.
Voters are also recognizing the fact that David has the education, plus the proven experience in engineering, management, supervision and budgets to run the Office with accountability. Voters are getting behind David, as they know he has what it takes to be a fair and successful Property Assessor for Roane County.
David will remain strong for the betterment of Roane County, as together; we turn the page for “change”. David will not let Teresa pull him into her ugly gutter politics. David is asking for everyone to stand with him against old political maneuvers that only benefit the few.
It's time for a change.
Submitted by FairAssessments on May 24, 2012 - 6:50am.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE TO THE PRESS
As a candidate running for the office of Roane County Property Assessor, I have been repeatedly asked a couple of questions that I believe require an immediate response for the voters of Roane County.
I have been asked whether or not I would keep the current staff from the Property Assessor’s Office if I win the election. My response has been consistent. The office needs a competent staff and I will give each one the opportunity to interview with me and continue working in the office, if they are willing to work under my direction. In addition, I will be reviewing their performance while I work toward aligning the staffing needs with the business needs of the county. At the same time, I do strongly believe the office needs qualified employees, such as actual Appraisers who are licensed and certified by the Tennessee Real Estate Appraisers Commission. The Tennessee Real Estate Appraisers Commission's mission is to protect the public welfare by ensuring that only qualified persons are licensed or certified and that all licensees uphold the highest appropriate professional standards of practice, independence and competency. I share that goal and would like to see those same professional standards of practice within the Roane County Property Assessor's office. Currently, I believe it is accurate to say that we don't have the appropriate staff of licensed Appraisers in the office. This may be one reason that we have seen serious problems with the property assessment values over the past many years. Roane County deserves better. Tax payers deserve the accurate assessments. The County government deserves the professionalism this would bring.
During the Rockwood 2000 Candidate Debate on March 1, I offered the current Property Assessor, Teresa Kirkham, the opportunity to interview with me if I am successful in my candidacy. Without having the formal discussion, it is my belief that Ms. Kirkham does have some skills that could be useful in the Property Assessor's Office; however I strongly feel she lacks the management skills to run the office. When I offered Ms. Kirkham the opportunity to interview with me, she repeatedly stated the phrase "You can't afford me". After the debate, several people approached me and said that during her rant, they were all thinking "Roane County cannot afford to keep her". If elected, I will keep my word and offer Ms. Kirkham an interview. With that interview she will have a chance to continue working in the Property Assessor's Office, but this time it will be under my proven management and mature leadership, and the new goal will be that ALL of Roane County will have FAIR property assessments in the future. With that said, I believe that she would not accept the discussion, plus it already seems that our differences in professional standards are too far apart.
Voters have also approached me saying they haven’t heard me discuss my education. Therefore, I would like to provide a response to their question. I have a Master’s degree in Organizational Management from Tusculum College. I feel it, and my 24 years of professional management experience, gives me additional knowledge to manage the organizational needs of the Property Assessor’s Office. In addition, I have a Bachelor's degree in Industrial Engineering from The University of Tennessee and Associate's degrees in Pre-Engineering and Mathematics from Roane State Community College. My engineering degrees and experience have provided me hands-on education with GIS and CAD drawing systems that will prove invaluable while managing the Property Assessor's Office -- not to mention my experience in cost accounting, budget management, cost reduction, document control, internal auditing, quality assurance, and technical training.
I hope to continue answering the voters’ questions as the campaign moves forward and interest continues to grow in this election. I look forward to getting the opportunity to speak with everyone that has an interest in returning the voice of Roane County to the Property Assessor's Office.
David L. Morgan, Candidate
It's time for a change.
Submitted by FairAssessments on May 22, 2012 - 1:50pm.
I have received numerous calls from the Roane County News asking pointed questions about my candidacy. The reporter had been corresponding with Teresa Kirkham and already had her input.
In an effort to keep this race focused on the real issues, I provide the following up front as clarification to the issues my opponent apparently wants to make into issues:
Yes, I was pulled over for speeding in 2007. I had received a call from a family member that was experiencing a personal and medical emergency. I drove at a high rate of speed in order to get to them and provide aid. I also had my hazard lights flashing the whole time. Upon noticing the police officer behind me, I attempted to motion the officer to follow me to the family member's house in order to provide assistance. The testimonies in court confirmed my story. The charges were dropped with costs to the state of Tennessee. As this situation was dropped, I still have a clean record. In this case my family responsibilities were my primary concern. In retrospect, I should have notified the proper authorities before I left my house.
Yes, I experienced a personal injury that predicated a suit for personal damages. The case has been in process for several years (since 2006). The damages to my health will be lifelong and have already impacted my life. However, these injuries will not impact my ability to perform the duties of the Property Assessor. The suit is filed against one company for their inability to maintain the necessary physical environment. Prior to the injury, numerous requests were made to correct the situation by myself and others.
It is clear that I have the proven experience to manage people, budgets, and properties. This is what it takes to be a successful Property Assessor for Roane County. Those qualifications must be making my opponent nervous.
Teresa Kirkham apparently doesn't want this race to be about voter issues or her performance; instead she wants it to be about gutter politics. I believe that's crazy; the people deserve better. I will defend myself and my supporters in Roane County - but I will not let her pull me into ugly gutter politics.
Submitted by FairAssessments on May 15, 2012 - 6:42am.
David is out working by listening to the voters. It may not be flashy point of sale advertising, however, listening is of utmost importance for serving the people of Roane County.
It's time for a change.
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