Tim Helton wants to be Blount County’s property assessor.
The former employee of the office is challenging his former boss Mike Morton for the position. On Sept. 13, he kicked off his campaign with a reception in the Sharon Lawson Room at the Blount County Public Library.
Friends, family and neighbors dropped in to wish him luck during the afternoon reception. Helton greeted them and talked about what kind of property assessor he would be.
Faye Helton, the candidate’s mother, has confidence in her son. “I know he will make it,” she said. “He’s a good husband and step-father. I’m very proud of him.”
Patti Lann said she came to show support because she respects Helton. “He’s a man of integrity and a man of values,” she said.
Helton said he worked in the Property Assessor’s Office for over eight years and recently made his decision to run for the top job in the office. He said his motivation came after two appraisals of the office. “After the last reappraisal happened, I thought, ‘There needs to be an assessor of property who is appraising and understands value,’” he said.
Helton’s wife, Gina, works for the Blount County Election Commission, and the couple say they have checked to ensure the legality of her working in the Election Commission when her husband is running for office. “I don’t handle any of his campaign material or petitions or those of any of his opponent,” Gina Helton said.
Helton said the property assessor’s job is important to residents. “Being assessor of property, you’re dealing with 67,000 parcels of property,” he said. “The assessor is responsible for ensuring each property is valued accurately. We need an assessor of property who understands value and how it is derived.”