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Home sales looking up


New assessor on the job for township



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Kristen Sieloff (click for larger version)
August 31, 2011 - BY TREVOR KEISER

Clarkston News Staff Writer

In the three weeks Assessor Kristen Sieloff has been on the job, she's noticed home sales are going up.

"This is still very viable community that people want to live in this area. It's just a reflection on the community itself," said Sieloff, new assessor for Independence Township.

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"Clarkston is a desirable area. You have entertainment features over here like DTE Theater and Pine Knob for winter activities. It's just an area that people want to live in."

Countywide, residential values seem to be holding, but there will still be a decline in commercial/industrial.

"It's not going to do a whole lot of damage for budgetary purposes here," Sieloff said. "It is an indication that perhaps we have gotten to or are very near the low."

However, the county is still working on sale studies. The township is helping them by verifying all sales.

"It's too early to tell, but right now the ratios are not significant differences in the values," Sieloff said. "We might be one or two percent, but the days of 10 percent reduction are not happening for this coming year."

After three weeks on the job, Sieloff is learning all she can about Independence Township.

"This (department) is a well oiled machine here. Dave Kramer put it in place back in the day and Bev Shaver just maintained it and enriched it," Sieloff said. "I am very fortunate to have such a knowledgeable and talented staff here."

Sieloff previously worked 17 years for the Charter Township of Shelby where she grew up. She spent the past eight years as Shelby's commercial industrial appraiser and personal property manager.

"I outgrew that position. I was doing things outside of that job classification," she said. "I was preparing for tribunal appeals and I just decided it was time for me to make a career move to help me professionally."

When she heard about the opening for Independence, she decided to go for it. She said it will be a nice change going from a bigger community with lots of industrial and commercial to a smaller one with more residential focus.

"It's kind of nice for me to get back to my roots and get back to the rural residential assessment evaluations," she said.

Sieloff lives in Lennox with her husband Daniel and their 12 year old son, Danny. She has also been active in the local professional organizations for assessors, such as being past president of the Macomb Assessors Association, a member of the International Association of Assessing Officers, and a member of the Oakland County Assessors, as well as an instructor for the State Tax Commission and for the Michigan Assessors Association.

"Those are the some of things I like to do," she said. "It's my way of giving back to the profession for all of those who gave to me along the way."

Sieloff said the office works really well and she doesn't plan on many changes, but there will be a "little tweaks here and there."

"It's been a wonderful move for me," she said. "I couldn't ask to work for a better community."

Trevor graduated with degrees in English and communications from Rochester College. He wrote for his college and LA View newspapers before joining The Clarkston News in May 2007.
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