Editor's note: Candidates for local 2012 races are welcome to email their candidate announcements to email@example.com.
Phyllis K. Yokum, current assessor of Randolph County, has filed to run for the position again on the 2012 ballot.
Yokum is a lifelong Democrat and resident of Randolph County. She has held the position of assessor since January 2005. She was hired in the assessor's office in 1982 by Assessor Sherman Stalnaker.
Yokum has 30 years of service to Randolph County and the assessor's office.
In 1989, she began serving as deputy assessor and was responsible for real estate transfers and linking natural resource appraisals. She also was responsible for updating the county tax maps.
Yokum was involved in the initial conversion of the tax maps from hand-drawn paper maps to digitized computer generated tax maps. The office currently has a fully functional GIS mapping system that has proved to be very beneficial to the office and to the county.
"Many of the responsibilities of the assessor are set out in West Virginia Code and one of the most important, but also the most difficult, is to keep all appraised values, for both real estate and personal property, at market value, as is required by all assessors. I have had difficult decisions to make concerning assessments during my years as assessor, but I have always made these decisions with much thought and consideration, not only to my responsibility as assessor, but also for the citizens of Randolph County," Yokum said. "My main goal as assessor has been to see that Randolph County taxpayers are assessed fairly and equally and to make taxpayers aware that the assessor's office is always willing to answer any questions or concerns, and that will continue to be my goal. I have a wonderful office staff with many years of experience, and they too are always available to answer questions."
Yokum is the daughter of the late Grover and Louise Louk of Wymer. A 1978 graduate of Harman High School and a graduate of Potomac State College, she lives at Alpena with her husband, Rick Yokum. They have two daughters, Ashley Yokum and Tessa Ware.
Yokum serves as secretary for the Dry Fork Recreation Center Inc. Board of Directors. She attends Dry Fork Assembly of God Church. Yokum currently serves as first vice president of the Association of West Virginia Assessors, having previously served as secretary, third vice president and second vice president.
In 2010, Yokum was the recipient of the Ralph C. Boyles Memorial Achievement Award for county assessors. The announcement was made by State Tax Commissioner Craig A. Griffith. The award is given annually to the assessor who best demonstrates excellence and professionalism in property tax administration. Some of the criteria considered in the selection process are compliance with the property tax laws, efficient office management and effective communication with property owners and various governmental agencies. Yokum also received the Special Services Award in 2010 from the Association of West Virginia Assessors in recognition of outstanding service to the association.