Name: Ed Cockrell
Immediate family members: Wife-Laura, Daughters- Angela & Andrea, Son-Edd, Jr. Grand children-Camden, Cecilia, Amelia, Maggie, & Jenna
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Office sought: Board of Review
Party affiliation: Republican
Previous elected positions and years served: Mayor (Village President) of New Athens 1983-1992, St. Clair County Board 1992-present, New Athens Township Supervisor 2013-present.
Why are you running?: I am running because I feel I can make a difference by helping the taxpayers and property owners appeal their property assessments with more access and outreach for their convenience.
What skills do you plan to bring to the Board of Review?: I am a Certified Illinois Assessing Officer (CIAO) since 2009 with 90 hours of continuing education to maintain that designation. I have also taken and passed the statewide Board of Review exam. But most importantly I am also a people person. I have reached out to all parts St. Clair County to help make sure that assessments are fair for everybody.
Why is the Board of Review important?: The Board of Review is important because it is the first attempt by taxpayers to have their complaints heard about unfair assessments. It is also important that the Board of Review extends multipliers or township factors depending on assessments levels. Both of those matters can be appealed to the Property Tax Appeal Board of the Illinois Department of Revenue. Finally, and probably most important, is that the Board of Review can help make sure that the taxpayers are getting all of the exemptions that they are entitled to under the law.
What is the biggest issue facing St. Clair County, and how should elected officials and county staff approach it?: I feel the biggest issue facing St. Clair County is the continual drain of county revenues and resources by Mid-America Airport. Public Safety. Sheriff’s Patrols, Election Departments, and other vital services to taxpayers are suffering because of the subsidy to Mid-America Airport. We have got to find a way to make it stand on its own merit and quit paying millions of dollars to subsidize its operation year after year.
What improvements do you want to see in the Board of Review?: I want to see an Outreach Program that allows hearings to be held locally for taxpayers in their own neighborhoods. I hope to hold hearings in the evenings and on Saturday mornings so people don’t have to take off work or get a babysitter in order to appeal their unfair assessments. I would also like to see the Rules of the Board of Review changed so an attorney is not the only third party that can represent a taxpayer in a hearing as I feel other professions are just as qualified if not more than an attorney to discuss property values.
Do you plan to serve the full term of office?: Absolutely!
Why should people vote for you?: I would ask the people to vote for me because I am a person of the people and for the people and I am the most qualified candidate running in this race. I also intend to vacate the raise for this office passed by the County Board which my opponent voted for and I voted against.