Kristine Lee has announced her candidacy for the position of Kings County Assessor, hoping to replace Ken Baird, who is retiring. She faces a full field of candidates taking on Dan Chin, Rence Faber and Ed Lopez.
In addition to the assessor’s role the Kings County office also includes clerk-recorder duties and operates as the elections office.
Lee is no stranger to duties in an assessor’s office, currently employed as the chief deputy assessor for Tulare County. She worked in the office for several years before accepting a job in the private section–then was lured back to accept the chief deputy job.
She has 10 years’ experience as the deputy chief and supervises several staff members. During her tenure, Lee has streamlined processes in the office and has put standards in place. She has prioritized customer service and has also reduced the county’s appeals calendar.
“I am a longtime Hanford resident and when Ken Baird announced his retirement a seed was planted that I might come back home to work,” she said. “I would like to bring my experience to Kings County and create a good environment, both for the staff and for county residents.”
ee is the only candidate in the race who possesses a certified public accountant (CPA) license. She attended West Hills Community College before earning a bachelor degree in business accounting from Fresno State. She also earned her master’s in public administration from Fresno State.
She is a certified property appraiser, a requirement for the assessor’s position.
If elected she plans to institute an electronic management system and create greater access to public records. Lee said she will ensure county elections are conducted in a timely fashion and with accuracy.
“I also have experience working for corporations, farmers and small business,” she noted.
She is running agains three other Hanford residents: Dan Chin lists himself as an independent business man; he also served on the Hanford City County. Renee Faber has been with the assessor’s office for 25 years and is an appraiser; Ed Lopez is a contractor and appraiser.
However, if elected, Lee will be the only female CPA in California who serves as a county assessor.
“I will bring management and organization to the office,” noted Lee. “I have a proven track record.”