In their own words: Grant County Assessor candidates

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  • McKnight

  • 1

    Schmig

  • McKnight

  • 1

    Schmig

Melissa McKnight

Age: I am 48 and am married to my high school sweetheart and have two teenage children.

Occupation: Grant County Assessor

Education: I hold an associate's degree in business administration.

Position running for: Grant County assessor

Please list any previous government or management experience: I worked 15 years in District Court before I left to start the Public Records Division for Grant County for nine years. I was then asked by other elected officials to run for the Assessor's position in 2014 because they knew I could clean up the Assessor's Office and get it back on track. I have previous management experience in both the private and public sector.

Why are you running? I am running for re-election for a few different reasons. I made a commitment to the citizens of Grant County when I ran for office four years ago. I knew the office had a lot of things that needed to be done and I knew it would take many years to clean it up. We have made great strides and changed many things. The first is we work for the citizens of the county first and foremost while working as a team with other offices. We now go and physically inspect each parcel in the revaluation cycle to make sure the data is correct and entered in a consistent manner in order to be fair and equitable for all. This is going to take many years to complete. I make sure the employees have the training they need to be able to perform their jobs and then hold them accountable for the training they receive. We need to work in the most efficient manner possible while protecting the county records for the public. I have worked with our Technology Services Department to secure our critical historical data that did not convert to our software system so it can continue to be used. I have put auditing protocols in place to check that our data being entered is correct. I have created policies and procedures to ensure things are being entered in the same manner for consistency. I have re-organized jobs in order to ensure that people get the help with projects that they need in order to meet deadlines. I am also making sure front office staff are cross-trained in order to help out if someone is out of the office.

What are your long-term goals for the position if elected? My long term goals for the office is to continue to make strides in cleaning up the records for each parcel while giving the best customer service to the citizens of the county. We continue to work on clean-up projects until they are all completed. This will take years. We continue to make strides in scanning all old paper records so they are attached to each parcel while making sure all new records are in electronic form for ease of use. We are currently working on a process to enter information in the field, making better use of time to be more efficient. I am working on bringing up the county ratio to an acceptable level to comply with State requirements while still being conservative. This will meet the needs of the taxing districts that serve the citizens, while still keeping rates low for the taxpayer. I encourage anyone with questions, to call me at (509)398-2297 or email me at electmelissamcknight@gmail.com.


Scott G. Schmig

Age: 47

Occupation: Revenue deputy Grant County Treasurer's Office (three years, 10 months), currently ambassador (for) the Moses Lake Chamber of Commerce

Education: Associate's degree in business, Primary Leadership Development Course (U.S. Army)

Position running for: Grant County Assessor

Please list any previous government or management experience: U.S. Army veteran (11 years), squad leader (U.S. Army), platoon sergeant (U.S. Army), customer service manager (Stewart Title & Escrow), office manager (Stewart Title & Escrow)

Why are you running? As I have been longtime resident of Grant County I want to give back to my community. I want to bring leadership, experience, accountability, and integrity to the Assessor's Office. I want to bring back the meaning of actually working for Grant County.

What are your immediate goals for the position if elected? On Day One I want to bring my leadership and bring in the proper training that each and every employee deserves to make them better in their craft. I want cross training so that when one employee is out that our mission to the public continues as flawlessly as possible. We will build relationship with our treasurer and other office at Grant County. We need to do this to help with our balance and check. Having this relationship will help eliminate errors (example: Missing special levies and collecting for expired levies and bonds.) We will build relationships with sister county assessors. Having these relationships will help in our training needs as well building voices to change needed legislation.

What are your long-term goals for the position if elected? We need to build public trust and communication. Build bridges to better relationships and communication with our private sector's realtors, appraisers and lenders to help everyone understand today's market. To successful pass all state audits. The last four years this has not been the case. Not correcting items may have affected assessed property value and this needs to change and will change with proper leadership and training. Grant County needs to be the leader and build its own identity and have other counties want to follow us.

We need to work and continue to make the Current Use (appraisal) Program better for our local farmers and orchard owner.

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