EDITOR’S NOTE: The Herald-Press presents this forum on issues in the Anderson County tax assessor/collector’s Republican Primary as a public service for voters. Candidates were given 100 words or less to respond to each question. Some minor editing was performed. Responses were cut at or before 100 words when exceeding the guidelines.



Q: What are your qualifications for the job?



A:

DONNA C. BENTLEY

I have 20 years experience with customer service. Every job that I have had has dealt with a great deal of customer service from The Jay Shop, East Texas National Bank, the City of Palestine, Anderson County Appraisal District to now at the Anderson County Tax Office. I have had nine years experience in property taxes from collections to customer service at the Appraisal District. I have worked a lot with the voting and elections process. I have taken tax collection classes and the state exam for collection. I hope to complete the Assessor-Collector’s exam later this year.

TERI GARVEY

I feel that 13 years experience as chief deputy, serving in all departments in the Anderson County Tax Assessor/Collector’s office, as well as completion of the required state certification courses are just a couple of my qualifications for this job. I have 13 years of experience as well in elections, voter registration, property tax laws and collections, automobile titling laws and renewal process and have worked closely with the Anderson County appraisal district during these years. I feel that I have proven my ability to handle this job since my selection over six other candidates in October 2004.



Q: What changes can be made to improve the functions and efficiency of the office?



A:

DONNA C. BENTLEY

I feel this office with its longtime employees runs pretty smooth now, but I would like to see all employees know both the auto tax and property tax. The employees could be cross trained to know each position, so when one side of the office is either busy or short-handed, the other side of the office could help out. I also think that the voter portion of the office is a job in its own. There is so much involved in that part of the office I would like to see either another employee hired or moved there.



TERI GARVEY

The new tax collection package that I am in the process of changing over to will significantly enhance services offered to our customers. I also feel being knowledgeable in your field by cross training between departments is a must when it comes to efficiency in any office. A dependable web site is a very important tool when it comes to servicing the public as well. Attending seminars and providing education to workers keeps them up to date on changes and always at the top of the game. And finally, you must remain open minded to new technology.

Q: How would you define customer service as it relates to the office?

A:

DONNA C. BENTLEY

Customer service is the key word in this office. There should be 100 percent customer service in this department. That is why each employee needs to be fully trained and familiar with each position so that each customer is not sent all over the office for the information they need help with. The customer needs to be greeted with a happy employee and that employee needs to be able to answer their question or know exactly where the customer needs to go to get the information they are looking for.

TERI GARVEY

I define customer service as how a customer feels his task or problem has been handled when they leave my office. Were they handled in a courteous manner and was their purpose of coming into the office met? You should concentrate on the person before you and make them feel like there is nothing more important than the issue they have brought to you. You should attempt all avenues to solve any problem they may have and that means always going the extra mile. Even the simplest of tasks should be handled with efficiency and courtesy.

This Week's Circulars