Opinion | Frank Celico: My experience as Summit County Assessor will help me lead, if reelected

Frank Celico
Candidate for Summit County Assessor

I have been honored to serve as your County Assessor for the last three years — part of my 22 years of overall service to Summit County. Together with my exceptional team, we have made important improvements to the Assessor’s Office and delivered real results for Summit County residents. I am proud of our reputation for providing top-notch customer service and successfully managing two challenging reappraisals. The 2019 reappraisal was the busiest property revaluation in a decade. For the 2021 reappraisal, we implemented a new software system and methodology for valuing properties more efficiently, consistently and transparently than ever before.

Prior to becoming your Assessor, I served 19 years as an attorney for Summit County government and represented the Assessor’s Office in every case argued at the State level of review, including at the Colorado Court of Appeals, Colorado Supreme Court and the Colorado Board of Assessment Appeals. In my two decades as Assessor and representing your Assessor’s Office, I have always strived to do so fairly, honestly and effectively.

My background as a county attorney has allowed me to hone my skills as a problem solver, analyze situations from various angles and cultivate relationships with county officials and staff. The Assessor’s Office has thrived through major changes and disruptions caused by the pandemic, the pandemic-related real estate boom, numerous changes in Colorado property taxation law and critical technology system upgrades, which should give voters confidence that under my leadership the Summit County Assessor’s Office will continue to handle the challenges and embrace the opportunities that are still ahead for this office.

My three main priorities for the future of the Assessor’s Office are preparing for the 2023 property revaluation, completing critical software system upgrades and developing staff.

Priority No. 1

The 2023 property revaluation will be historic. We are anticipating property value increases never seen before due to our unprecedented real estate market. New laws adopted in the past few weeks and last year significantly affect how our work must be done for the 2023 revaluation. Public outreach and education will be crucial to a successful revaluation. Careful coordination with all stakeholders will be critical as we prepare to potentially administer upwards of 10,000 valuation protests with a small staff on a very tight statutory schedule. I am confident that we will be ready and will do as good a job as any county in Colorado.

Priority No. 2

Our software upgrade project has been years in the making. Tyler Eagle will replace our current electronic property record database and administrative software system developed in the 1990s, which limits our ability to function effectively and efficiently. These upgrades require careful planning and coordination across departments and, when completed, will enable the Assessor, Clerk and Treasurer to be an efficient team thus improving the customer experience for our citizens.

Priority No. 3

Finally, staff development remains an ongoing priority for me. Even during this period referred to as “The Great Resignation,” I’m proud to say the Summit County Assessor’s Office is fortunate to not only to be fully staffed but also to have many exceptional new and longtime staff members. As the leader of the office, I have tried to develop and maintain a positive and productive workplace to put people in positions to grow and succeed, to facilitate staff having a healthy work-life balance and to reward those who show initiative. Our office has embraced schedules that allow for flexibility, particularly for our staff who are parents of young children. I was proud that four of our appraisers presented their first Board of Assessment Appeals cases of their careers in 2022. I fought to have bonuses paid to all of my staff in 2020 from the remaining balance of our budget that year in recognition for their work through the pandemic in preparing for the 2021 reappraisal. Our work is dictated by a statutory calendar and is audited by the state annually, and tens of thousands rely on our office for accurate, timely information. I am very aware that it is impossible to meet all of these expectations without a good and dedicated staff.

A vote for Frank for your Summit County Assessor is a vote for honest, transparent, courteous, and effective county government.

Frank Celico
Elaine Collins/Courtesy photo

Occupation: Attorney

Years in Summit County: 30

Family: Wife, Svetlana; son, Sam; and daughter, Sasha.

Civic Involvement: Former Board of Directors: Friends of the Dillon Ranger District, Summit Library Board and Summit Fat Tire Society; 4-H Youth Mountain Biking Program Leader. Youth Soccer Coach.

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