Friday, November 1, 2013

We have a new Lake County Assessor and she is Cedar Lake resident Jolie Covaciu!!!

Reporting from the Lake County Government Center:

November 1st, 2013  

Jolie Covaciu of Cedar Lake, Indiana is the new Lake County Assessor!  In a caucus vote of Republican precinct committeemen and/or their vice-committeemen, Jolie was voted into office by a 56 to 44 margin. (The candidacy was covered by and more information about the candidates is found in the article at the bottom of this post.)  Update...the actual vote count announced at the meeting was 56-44.  The count released to the public was 56-52.  I am fact-checking this discrepancy.  Further research has shown that the official count was, indeed, 56-52.

The chairman for the evening laid the ground rules for the speakers and explained the voting method, which was by secret ballot which was to be counted officially on site with neutral watchers on hand as the ballots would be tallied.

Debra Johnson was the first of two qualified candidates to file for the office and therefore spoke first.  Mrs. Johnson was introduced to the audience by the widow of the late Hank Adams, Jean Shepherd.  Debra was a friend of the Adam's family.  We all were reminded that Hank had become the first Republican to win a County-wide office since the FDR Administration.  Debra Johnson informed us that she knew Hank and knew his vision for the County and she intended to keep his initiatives going in his place.  She also told the audience that she had graduated Davenport University.

Pete Karagan of Munster stood up to introduce Jolie and then Jolie Covaciu listed all of her various accomplishments and her experience in the field of assessments and audits and compliancy to government regulations and asserted that she would go after the backlog of work left undone by the Assessor's office and would quickly deal with appeals that had been left to approve or deny and also make sure that billings and collections would be professional and on time.  She was happy to point out her 14 years as a Cedar Lake resident and her membership with Bethel Church, along with her husband and four children, and a long-time Republican voter and worker behind the scenes to help other candidates win public office.

After both candidates had spoken, the delegates came forward to vote by sections of the auditorium. The three sections closest to the door were for delegates and the fourth section was for interested onlookers.   The Jolie Covaciu rooting section consisted of those of us who had been handing out information cards in the rain outside the Government Center before the meeting began.  We outnumbered the Johnson delegation but, to their credit, they were personable people and we chatted comfortably with them as we waited for people to arrive so we could give them our candidate hand-bills.

Personal note:  Jolie Covaciu and her family are friends.   Jolie was NOT the candidate picked by the people who make decisions from a distance.  But her array of accomplishments, her willingness to meet and talk to all comers and her professional, intelligent speech to the delegates completely won the day for her.  Three cheers for Jolie Covaciu and we might as well plan on seeing her reelected, because I am sure she will accomplish a lot in a short time now that she is behind the wheel of the Assessor's office.

Many Republicans will take a Democrat ballot in primaries to vote for the lesser of two evils.  Both Covaciu and Johnson had done this at times.  However, Covaciu has lived in Lake County and owned property here for 14 years, whereas Johnson had purchased a lot late in October and, ironically, owes over $2,000 in back taxes on property that was just in the process of being officially processed as of October 31st.  It would have been interesting to have chosen an Assessor who had to make a last-second purchase of land to even qualify to hold office and would come into the Assessor position owing Lake County a large tax bill on said property.  The vote for Jolie Covaciu saved the Republican Party from an appearance of shenanigans.  

The NWI article that preceded the caucus.

November 2nd Update:  The NWI article concerning the Caucus results gives a different vote total than the count announced at the official results at the time of the caucus.  That announced total was 56 to 44.   The reporter, Bill Dolan, misspelled Pete Karagan's name and had a count that was at variance to the official count announced at the meeting.  I have tried to find out where the eight extra votes for Johnson came from, votes that would not have changed the outcome.   But I do commend Dolan for a fair report of the proceedings and I have reached out to him for clarity concerning the vote totals.

Jolie's message to the County in advance of the caucus:

Dear Republican Committeeman:

Make no mistake; Jolie Covaciu is seeking your vote at the upcoming Republican caucus.
Many of you know that I have volunteered and worked hard outside of the polls, for various Republican candidates over the years supporting their causes. I would be a strong Republican constituent for the future. I will help keep the momentum going forward for the Republican Party.     My Republican beliefs are not simply a temporary convenience, but an important cornerstone of my personal values and composition. The voting record between me and my opponent are very similar and this is not the issue in this campaign.  The issue is who will be an honest and fair Assessor, seeking uniform assessment for all the properties of Lake County.

The Assessor’s office is the most important office that impacts the property owners financially. I am dedicated to the property owners of Lake County and will not be controlled by any political machine or special interest group. By making that pledge, this is how I will make everyone’s property values fair, equal and just.    Your opinion and your vote matter to me.  I appreciate your willingness to consider all the facts before reaching a decision. Thank you for your consideration. 

My Qualifications to become the next Assessor of Lake County are as follows;
·       18 years of assessing experience in Lake County
·       Site inspections of tens of  thousands of properties
·       Deputy Assessor in Cedar Creek Township
·       Property owner and taxpayer in Lake County for 14 years
·       Mass Appraisal valuations for Lake and Jasper Counties
·       Annual Adjustments, trending and Ratio Studies
·       Volunteering for Republican candidates for over 30 years

I, Jolie Covaciu, respectfully ask for your vote and support this Friday November 1st at the Republican caucus. I understand that this is a very important decision in which you are making.
I will make a strong commitment, to fulfill both the duties as the Republican candidate in the upcoming years as well as assure you I am the person who can fill the role of County Assessor on your behalf, and for all the people of Lake County. If chosen by you I will strive to make the very best decisions to benefit and serve our fellow citizens. Thank you for your time and I very much appreciate for your consideration!

Best Regards,  

Jolie Covaciu               219-730-2707              email:

Jolie A. Covaciu
7402 W. 129 Ave., Cedar Lake, IN 46303

Qualifications, Experience & Education:

·        Level III Indiana State Certified Assessor/Appraiser

·        18 years including 14 years with Lake County Government, working in the assessing field

·        State of Indiana Certified Tax Representative

·        Valuation of both Real and Personal property

·        Mass Appraisal valuation

·        Tax Consultant; Project Manager; District Coordinator

·        Site inspections and review of tens of thousands of Properties        

·        Annual Adjustments, trending and Ratio Studies

·        Conducted three General Reassessments in Lake County

·        Field assessment experience of both Residential and Commercial property

·        Familiarity with the computer software used by the Lake County Assessor (Proval) as well as other programs important to the position, such as MVP Tax, Sidwell mapping,etc.

·        Experience with resolving appeals in a timely manner  

·        Member of the International Association of Assessor Officers (IAAO) #10168682

·        Assessment Administration Specialist (AAS) applicant with the IAAO

Recently attended courses and continuing education include:

9/30/2013        Income Approach to Valuation II
2/18/2011     IAAO 300 Fundamentals Mass Appraisal
8/30/2013        Agriculture land Review
11/8/2010     IAAO 400 Assessment Administration
8/29/2013        Defending your Assessment
9/01/2010     IAAO 151 USPAP (National)
8/29/2013        Multiple Regression Analysis      
4/19/2010     IAAO 102 Income Approach
8/28/2013        Manufactured vs Stick Built Homes
3/15/2010     IAAO 101 Real Property Appraisal
8/28/2013        Gateway/Sales Disclosure
1/21/2010     Fast Food Assessment
5/01/2013        Income Approach to Valuation I
1/20/2010     IAAO 910 Valuation Convenience Stores
8/22/2012        Special Use Properties
2/24/2009     Personal Property
8/22/2012        Disasters- Deal with the Aftermath
12/9/2009     Cadastral Mapping
1/19/2012        Reassessment/PTABOA
4/30/2008     Intro to Income Approach
1/19/2012        Cost Tables 2012
1/18/2007     Winning Appeals at the PTABOA
1/18/2012        IAAO  911 Value Contaminated Property
1/18/2007     Sales Disclosure: Valid vs. Invalid
1/20/2011       Creating & Implementing a Land Order
1/17/2007     Stratifying by Home Style
3/09/2011     Level III Assessor-Appraiser

7/05/2006   Level II Assessor-Appraiser
6/06/2006   Level I Assessor-Appraiser

1 comment:

  1. Another report: