Galveston County Tax Assessor Cheryl E. Johnson has a challenger in the Republican party who has launched a false campaign against her. I’ve supported Johnson for the last 15 years because she not only keeps her promises — she has exceeded all expectations.

The tax office isn’t broken. Thanks to Johnson, it’s an award-winning, exemplary service organization rated in the top seven of 254 counties according to the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (achieved because of the office’s outstanding performance, efficiency, accuracy and customer service).

Johnson was the first tax collector in Galveston County to become a certified tax professional and, whether we like paying taxes or not, she has performed the functions of calculating and collecting our taxes quite well.

She added government partners, which made paying taxes easier for many of us, and she has fought for property tax relief and changes that have provided both tax relief and expanded our options to pay. She helped insure the senior tax ceiling was adopted by our cities and the county.

As voter registrar, Johnson fought to remove noncitizen voters from the roll, which she continues today despite being limited by the state’s negotiated settlement. When she receives a report from the district clerk of those self-reporting non-citizenship to avoid jury duty, they’re investigated, canceled and reported to the district attorney.

She audits voter rolls and has partnered with local governments to insure new property addresses are added to make registration more efficient for new residents. Johnson has been a statewide leader in voter registration and maintenance processes. Has everyone forgotten that she was instrumental in correcting the originally flawed state system?

The most outrageous allegation of all is about employee turnover. Anyone with a lick of business sense would know the figures she professes are absurd. From what I hear and have observed, Johnson requires her team to show up, treat customers right, perform their duties accurately and follow the policies of her office. I appreciate that she has high standards. When I heard the county pay specialist recommended bringing pay up from 70 percent to 80 percent of market, I was amazed anyone had stayed.

I support Johnson because she has indeed increased service, reduced cost and fought for property tax relief. She’s experienced and qualified and has proven herself capable of running the half-billion dollar tax office. I want someone who knows what they’re doing handling my taxes, voter records and car registration.

Her opponent has no property tax, appraisal or government official experience. She has only managed a small family owned business — not a large staff spread across the county. She’s obviously unaware of the limitations established by state election and federal labor laws and will surely get the county into another lawsuit.

Johnson is a keeper. Her opponent may benefit from applying for a job and learning a thing or two before trying to lead such a complex operation for which she knows nothing.

Evelyn Timmins lives in Friendswood.

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(18) comments

John Merritt

I agree with you assessment of Cheryl Johnson and plan to vote for her. I would like to suggest that, in the future, the person who hold the office should not print their names on all forms, signage and even the staff shirts. I do realize that this is free advertising for the incumbent, but if the election goes south, all of that stuff would be reprinted by the new person in office, wasting taxpayer dollars.

Gary Miller

Cheryl is better than Galveston deserves. Some Galveston county citizens object to cleaning voter lists of people who should not be voting. If they vote they should be arrested, convicted and jailed.

Don Johnson

Happy Thanksgiving Mr. Merritt!

Thank you for the comment but I personally provide the shirts each year and require them to be worn on Tax Day January 31st so that we are easily recognized by customers. I believe that if I am going to require a certain shirt, I should pay for it.

Regarding the forms, signs, etc. I understand and good point but, with the exception of state forms/signage, it is likely the next tax assessor collector will change everything. None of the items you see if the office used today existed before me - I created all of them with input from the team to insure consistency throughout our offices and it seems this works best for the customers.

Thanks too for your vote!

Michael Jozwiak

I will not vote for any Republican.

Carlos Ponce

Voting against someone rather than voting for someone? It's your vote. But note this: Republicans will win Galveston County and Texas in 2020.

Gary Miller

Michael> Thank god the criminals you vote for rarely get elected.

Gary Miller

Michael> Limits your choices in Galveston County.

Emile Pope

Voter suppression that was fortunately stopped by the courts...

Carlos Ponce

Emile is counting on the Zombie vote again.

Wayne Holt

I worked with tax office staff on a couple of issues over the past year or two, one technical and one regarding an overzealous mortgage lender. In both cases, I found the tax office folks to be very helpful and forthcoming, professional but cordial in assisting me with the information I needed. I also like the fact that Ms. Johnson seems to make it a basic principle of her organization that taxpayers should be fully informed about their rights, rather than having to play detective to find out what the laws say and how they affect us.

To Mr. Jowiak's comment about not voting for any Republican: that attitude adopted broadly would keep America fighting internally when we should be working on our problems. We should be looking at what a candidate brings in the way of experience, character and record. I will be voting for Ms. Johnson because of that, not because she is a Republican.

Emile Pope

And yet you voted for trump...

Michelle Aycoth

Not only Republicans voted for Trump, I live with one.

Andy Aycoth

Emile Pope

Was it his lack of experience, amoral character, or his record of sham universities, charities, and cheating creditors his selling point?

Carlos Ponce

And with Emile's post you get your morning dose of Liberal Kool-Aid.

Wayne Holt

Yes, I did. Or rather, I voted against what the Democrat party offered as the product of a rigged selection process. There is nothing in what Trump has done so far that rises to the level of systematic corruption that Bill and Hillary Clinton have practiced since the 70s. Trump's university pales in comparison to the money-generating machine that the Clinton Foundation rolled out. There is a reason why "donations' (aka disguised bribes) dropped like a rock starting the day after her defeat: she was no longer able to deliver the goods.

It may surprise you to know that I support (with serial donations) Tulsi Gabbard at this moment, as she is the most adamant about shutting down the military/industrial juggernaut that both Republicans and Democrats have unleashed on the world. Since the chances of getting her message past the uni-party of Washington war mongers is slim to none, I expect I will be voting for Trump again as I don't find anything worth supporting among the crop of corrupt and creepy Marxist Lite candidates on offer by a party that was once known as the Anti-War Party, whether accurate or not. Today, Democrats are among the loudest voices for American military involvement around the world. No thanks...I'll take Trump's attempts at bringing troops home any day, as inconsistent or lukewarm an effort it is.

Emile Pope

Perhaps you can explain how the Clintons personally benefited from their foundation? You’re apparently thinking about the trump foundation that he used to make political contributions, pay personal legal bills, and buy personal items for himself. The one forced to shut down. That just had to pay two million dollars as opposed to his paying 25 million for his sham university. And so it goes...

Gary Scoggin

My limited experiences with the tax office under Ms. Johnson’s watch have all been good. Quick, friendly and accurate service every time.

Charles Douglas

[thumbup]..!

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