CHICO — Michael Howard wants to make some changes to the Butte County Assessor’s office by upgrading his technology.
The assessee and the resident of Paradise expressed his concern for the office’s high turnover rate as well as how its functionality could affect taxpayers.
“I see the glacial rate at which things change in that office or in that environment,” Howard said. “Essentially, the technology used there is so obsolete that it places a heavy burden on employees and isn’t a very efficient or even effective use of taxpayer dollars.”
Howard said he believes part of the high turnover rate hinders work experience for those new to older technology.
“New employees, they don’t stay very long because they walk in here and they look around and they think it’s ‘The Flintstones’ or something and they’re gone,” Howard said.
Technology isn’t the only thing that will change about the Howard office. He said that if he wins, he hopes to reorganize management to improve efficiency. He said he expected the current association, which is the Teamsters, to be in favor of the move.
“It’s going to create a chain of commands that can be carried forward in a more appropriate way,” Howard said. “Where there is one supervisor now, I plan to replace that supervisor with five team leaders. I think the union will like that idea because right now, with a team leader, he is a little heavy at the bottom and a little thin at the top. And so reconfiguring in that fashion, I think, makes the Teamsters feel good.”
Ultimately, Howard said he hopes to improve the relationship between the assessor’s office and other county departments. He said he sees some division between the office and the rest of the county, including the board of supervisors.
“Why that is, I’m not really interested in, but I want to find some common ground, some middle ground among the administrator, and a friendly relationship with the board of supervisors. A department head won’t be spoiled by his peers.” must be understood.”
In terms of experience, Howard began his assessment career in the private and corporate sectors in 1990. After the housing market collapse in 2007, he began working in the Butte County Assessor’s office, where he worked for 12 years.
“I resigned from my position and went back to the private sector in 2020,” Howard said. “From the semi-retirement level, I now continue to do evaluations specifically for military veterans.”
Howard is running for Butte County assessor against Alyssa Douglass and Randall Stone. Voting is to be held on June 7.