Summit County assessor announces resignation
Summit County Assessor Steve Martin formally announced his resignation earlier this month, creating an unexpected opening for an elected official.
Martin will be stepping down from his post at the end of April, less than a year before his term was set to expire. He submitted his resignation letter to the Summit County Council and Summit County Democratic Party on April 4.
Martin, 71, attributed his decision to his age and an understanding that “things are and should be changing.” He said he wants to travel, garden, spend time with his grandchildren and maybe go back to school for the “fun of learning.”
“There needs to be someone in this office of the computer generation to mold the processes of the office to newer technologies,” he said in an email. “I still can’t get the blinking 12:00 off of my DVD player.”
Martin, a Democrat, was elected in 2010 after working as an appraiser in the Assessor’s Office for nearly 30 years and then ran unopposed in 2014, easily securing his second term. The assessor is responsible for determining the value of homes and commercial real estate for tax purposes in Summit County.
“I decided to run because it was the next logical step for my career,” he said.
The Summit County Democratic Party will be responsible for choosing a candidate to finish Martin’s term, which is set to expire in 2020.
Cheryl Butler, Summit County’s Democratic Party chair, said the party is going to immediately start advertising the position. She said candidates are required to be a resident of Summit County and a certified or licensed appraiser for the state.
“That way we can get the best list of candidates that we can,” she said.
The Summit County Council is expected to formally announce the vacancy on May 1. Travis Lewis, chief deputy assessor, will take over as interim department head on that day. He will occupy the position for a period of 30 days while the Summit County Democratic Party nominates someone to serve through the end of 2019.
“I’m leaving now because it’s the right time for me,” he said. “The interim between now and the next election will be handled by my extraordinary chief deputy Travis Lewis. I have no worries at all about the continued excellence of this organization.”
Lewis has worked in the Assessor’s Office for the last 22 years. He announced that he will be seeking the remainder of Martin’s term.
“We’ve been working diligently on making some changes in the office and one of our big changes is putting personal property information online,” Lewis said. “We are about halfway through that process and I would like to continue that through. It was a big request from the public to get that online. I would like to see that through and I have a few other ideas I would like to implement in the office if I’m able to get appointed.”
The Summit County Democratic Party has until May 4 to come up with a list of eligible candidates to present to the party’s central committee. Party members will then select a nominee at the May 11 Summit County Democratic Party convention to present to the County Council for final approval.
“We have 30 days once the official declaration is made to return a candidate’s name to the County Council under Utah code,” Butler said. “So we technically have until May 31 to find someone, but we wanted to get started on this right away.”
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