October 28, 2015 Edition

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Matthews will not seek re-election

Farrah Matthews has announced she will not seek re-election with the following announcement:

"I, Farrah Matthews, CAE, Assessor of Lawrence County, am announcing today that I am not seeking re-election to a ninth term as assessor. Starting as a data entry clerk in 1996 under the previous assessor, working up to an appraiser during my first five years and finally being elected by the taxpayers, every step of my career has been a pleasure. Being able to serve the citizens of Lawrence County has been a huge source of pride.

"During my tenure as your assessor, I have guided the county through many changes to the office. Modernization and online availability of records through datascout.com, educating and training the staff on assessment practices and policies, and most importantly a fair and equitable assessment under Arkansas state law. All of them have been directed at providing the citizens with a more service friendly, transparent, modern office.

"My staff is awesome. Their knowledge and work ethic is a huge part of how efficient and professional our office is. Their training and education is second to no other assessor's office in the state. They are ready and capable to continue taking on the challenges the property tax field will bring their way moving forward. I can't thank them enough for all their service to me and most importantly the taxpayers.

"During my tenure as your assessor, I have represented Lawrence County by presiding as president of the Arkansas Chapter of the International Association of Assessing Officers (IAAO) for three years and serving on the chapter board in numerous other positions. I was fortunate to receive the Arkansas Outstanding Chapter Member Award in 2006 and in 2013. The 2006 award was in recognition of becoming the first Arkansas Assessor and the first woman in Arkansas to earn the IAAO designation of Certified Assessment Evaluator (CAE), its highest professional designation. I also served the international organization of IAAO as an IAAO Exam Proctor for nine years, and served on its Education Subcommittee and Professional Designation Subcommittee. I also served as the Education Practices Chair for the state Assessment Coordination Department.

"I was also blessed and very proud to be elected by my peers to represent county government by serving three terms on the Arkansas Assessors Association Board of Directors representing the northeast counties in the state.

"All of this service was done with the idea of bringing back the best professional practices to the office, and to make sure the citizens of Lawrence County and the northeast part of the state of Arkansas had their needs and experiences well represented.

"I am proud to know that one of my own is announcing a desire to serve. Becky Holder is planning to run for the position of assessor of Lawrence County. A long time employee of 30 years, she has served as chief deputy of the office. Having worked alongside her for those years I know she is ready and able to continue helping the assessor's office strive to serve the citizens of the county. She will serve the citizens of Lawrence County well if elected.

"I want to thank the citizens of Lawrence County for putting their confidence in me by electing me their county assessor. After 20 years it is time for me to pursue other opportunities. It has been a pleasure serving you. I hope you feel that I have served you and the office well."

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