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Posted: March 31, 2012 8:41 p.m.

County employee runs for chairman

The race for Newton County chairman now has two candidates, after Marcus Jordan, the county's assistant chief tax appraiser, announced this week he will seek office.

Jordan, a 41-year-old Newton County native who will run as a Democrat, said he wants to run on a platform of accountability of elected officials, officials being receptive to citizens and transparent government.

"Once a decision is rendered from local officials, we should be held to that standard and not try to wiggle our way out of that," Jordan said Friday.

"I feel like now is a great opportunity. This is not something I just woke up and wanted to do, this is something I've also had ambition to do. My work experience has been in local government the last 16 years and I have a keen interest in local government. I feel that we have a great opportunity at this point and time."

Jordan has worked with the Newton County Tax Assessor's office for 13 years and in 2003 was appointed to assistant chief tax appraiser, the second highest position in the office. Before that he worked with the city of Covington for three years as a sanitation worker and meter reader.

"I am a people person. I welcome everyone to come in and talk to me, even in the assessor's office. I enjoy sitting down with citizens hearing their point of view and where they're coming from," Jordan said.

In his day-to-day job, Jordan assesses the value of commercial properties by doing inspections of the building and surrounding land.

"We measure the building, jot down any details about the outside of the building, any interior details, take a look at the pavement, the land itself. Then we take that rough draft and make a final sketch out of it. We generally have an idea of what those values are going to be. We also look at what the property sold for, what the price is per square foot, all those details," Jordan said.

He also handles appeals made by business owners who don't believe their property was properly valued, including listening to their rationale, reviewing the assessment and making a change if warranted.

In addition to accountability and openness, Jordan said he wants to focus on economic development and workforce development.

"I would be a strong supporter of that, getting our citizens trained for the industrial, manufacturing and even retail jobs that may come this way as we continue to grow," he said.

When asked for his take on the recent switch to a county manager system, Jordan said "If (the county manager system) is a concern for any citizen, it's a concern for me. That being the case, if it promotes a second look, I would not hesitate to revisit that and look at it."
Prior to working with the city of Covington, Jordan spent three and a half years in the U.S. Naval Construction Battalion as an electrician, including serving in Bahrain during the Gulf War. He has also done tours in Bermuda, Japan and Puerto Rico.

He graduated from Newton County High School in 1989 and is currently working on a bachelor's degree in religion from Luther Rights University in Lithonia. He is getting the degree to help with his work in church administration; he serves as assistant treasurer at Sims Chapel Baptist Church and is president of the men's ministry.

He and his wife, Veronica, have three adult children and one child in high school.
He can be reached by email at electmarcusjordan@att.net or at his campaign's Facebook page Elect Marcus Jordan.

He is hosting a meet and greet from 5 to 7 p.m. April 29 at Under the Stars banquet hall in Oxford.

"I have proven leadership skills that I have given this county for the past 16 years," said Jordan, when asked why he believes residents should vote for him. "Another thing is bringing humility and respect for everyone to the office. This is not about me, it's about our citizens."

 

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