Conversation with County Assessor Candidate Jordan Marks: Running on His Record of Customer Service

Original article by Joe Garbanzos in The Filipino Press

Filipino Press

August 26, 2022 – September 1, 2022 

SAN DIEGO, CA — The two words that Mr. Marks use frequently when you interview the candidate for San Diego County Assessor is Customer Service. He prides himself as a candidate who puts customer service for the county’s taxpayers a priority. When asked where the inspiration for customer service comes from; Mr. Marks has a personal answer. He credits his mother, a single mom, as a reminder and source of inspiration. He remembers growing up, when his mother had to deal with government agencies and bureaucracies, the experience was not always pleasant and can be frustrating. Easy example is with Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Frustration and inconvenience are all too common experience for many individuals. It is not exaggeration to say, customer experience doing business with government agencies is impersonal and can be unfriendly. Mr. Marks vowed then, and as a county agency administrator now, to lead an agency that offers better service to all regardless of means and status. He offers an example of what good customer service looks like. “I put customers first. When Covid shut down all government offices, our Assessor/Recorder/Clerk office found a way to safely remain open while performing weddings. We converted an outdoor snack shop into a “Marriage Hut.” The State of California commended the San Diego County Assessor/Recorder/Clerk’s team for coming up with an innovative solution”, Mr. Marks claims proudly.

Who is Jordan Marks?

Mr. Marks is married to Eva Moreno Marks. They have a son. He was first elected, 20 years ago, as a student trustee at Mira Costa College and then went on to UCLA, SUNY Buffalo and studied tax law at Georgetown Law School. He is a licensed Certified Property Tax appraiser and an attorney. He has background in business, as an entrepreneur and was also involved in non-profit organization. He moved to state government when he was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown to advocate for taxpayers in the State of California. He is presently a Chief Deputy in the County Assessor’s Office, leading the Taxpayer Advocacy efforts. The County Assessor/ Recorder/Clerk’s agency has 450 employees and a balanced $80 million budget. The office administers property taxes, vital records such as realty records, birth, death, marriage certificates, issuance of marriage licenses and performs civil weddings.

What is the Assessor’s Clerk Office?

The Assessor’s Office responsibilities are supposed to be non-political. Nowadays, however, everything drips with politics. The general election contest on Nov. 8th between Mr. Marks and Barbara Bry are supposed to be a race between two Independents. Ms. Bry was a member of the San Diego City Council in California, representing District 1. She assumed office in 2016. She left office on December 14, 2020. 

The San Diego County Assessor/Recorder/Clerk is an important county agency. Its primary responsibilities are broad and affect the lives all residents, at a certain point of time. Here is a list of what the office is charged with: (1) locating, identifying and appraising all vacant land, improved real estate, business property, and certain mobile homes, boats and aircraft for property tax purposes;  (2) providing public notice by accepting and recording legal instruments (documents) required by law upon payment of proper fees and taxes as well as maintaining birth, marriage and death records and indexes for San Diego County. (3) issuing marriage licenses and performing civil marriage ceremonies; registering Fictitious Business Name Statements, notaries public, process servers and professional photocopiers to assess, record, collect and implement the tax laws in the county. 

Approach to Business Community.

Mr. Marks approach to business can be summed up by his emphatic statement. “I will put your business first and make the process easier and transparent, so you are not overtaxed!” He related a story. “During the pandemic I walked door to door across San Diego County as a board member of the San Diego County Hispanic Chamber along with the Asian Business Association to check on small businesses and ensure they have the resources they need to survive.” He continues, “using my property tax knowledge and the law, we reduced small business taxes by over $11 million dollars so they could keep their doors open”. Again, the theme of customer service adds flavors to his  stories. “We expanded services online to reduce wait times for those in line that want help in person. We located our office across the county because not everyone should have to drive downtown to receive help.”

Mr. Marks’ Endorsements

Mr. Marks received the San Diego County Taxpayer Watchdog award for creating innovative programs that led to “unprecedented property tax savings” for San Diegans: $18.7 million for disabled veterans, $32.8 million for homeowners, and $210 million to help renters, small businesses, homeless services and affordable housing providers. 

Mr. Marks claims that providers from Homeless Service have endorsed him. Providers have said “Jordan’s tax knowledge and well-run Assessor/Recorder/Clerk office helped us deliver more homeless housing and wrap around services, key to solving San Diego County’s homeless crisis.”

The San Diego County Firefighters endorsed Jordan “the only experienced candidate for Assessor with the training and leadership we trust to protect our homes. Jordan wrote the law that protects San Diegans devastated by wildfires from being punished with additional taxes when they went to rebuild their homes and lives.” 

Caveat Emptor – Information; Not Endorsement

This article is intended to be informational, not an endorsement. The aim is to help voters learn more about candidates running in the Nov. 8th general election. This article is on the race for County Assessor’s Clerk office. Future articles will profile other candidates running for elected office. Filipino Press is a non-partisan community newspaper. Please register and vote.